Central regulation of English local authorities: an example of meta-governance?

Josie Kelly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses how the UK government has reconfigured its regulation of English local authorities by moving from direct oversight to using an indirect independent agency as a vehicle of meta-governance. This theme is discussed through two strands: first, by examining how several factors eroded central government's capacity to directly regulate councils. The second strand examines the strategies used by the Audit Commission, an independent agency, to assert its authority over councils and how its hegemony is sustained by facilitating and participating in horizontal and vertical networks across government, specialist policy and stakeholders' communities. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2006.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-621
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
Early online date15 Aug 2006
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • regulation
  • English local authorities
  • direct oversight
  • indirect independent agency
  • meta-governance


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