The politics of local government reform in Northern Ireland

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12 Citations (Scopus)


A major review of public administration in Northern Ireland has resulted in proposals for radical reforms in health, education and local government services. Although originating from the devolved government of 1999, intermittent suspensions resulted in Direct Rule Ministers taking over responsibility for the review. This article traces the influence of a sizeable body of research evidence on the outcomes of the review, specifically controversial reforms to local government, and the significant influence attached to macro political factors in reaching key public policy decisions. It also highlights the asymmetry in power relations between Stormont and local government and how devolution has simply compounded regional centralism in Northern Ireland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-455
Number of pages21
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Central-local relations
  • Evidence based policy making
  • Local government
  • Northern Ireland
  • Review of Public Administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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