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About this book

This important new work updates the arguments of Christopher Hood's classic work The Tools of Government for the Twenty-First century. Comprehensively revised throughout, it includes increased coverage of how government gets information and an assessment of how the tools available to government have changed over time.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Exploring Government’s Toolshed

Abstract
Well, what does government do, exactly?
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 2. Nodality

Abstract
One of the four basic resources of government discussed in the last chapter was ‘nodality’, that is, the property of being in the middle of a social network. This central position provides government with one of the ways it can ‘detect’ and build information or a panoramic picture. And this probably gives it a reason to be listened to, quite apart from any of its other government-like properties, unless it forfeits all credibility.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 3. Authority

Abstract
One of the four basic resources of government that were discussed in Chapter 1 was legal authority. This is the ability to command and prohibit, commend and permit, through recognized procedures and identifying symbols, for example the Great Seal of the United States, the vermilion pen used by Chinese emperors in selecting the top candidates in civil service examinations, official rods, maces and chains of office, and the many other devices employed by governments to lend ‘officiality’ to their pronouncements.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 4. Treasure

Abstract
After ‘nodality’ and ‘authority’, a third basic resource of government is ‘treasure’. As was explained in Chapter 1, this term denotes government’s stock of ‘fungible chattels’, in the sense of anything that can be freely exchanged. We use the term to denote whatever positive incentives or inducements government can use to secure information or change behaviour. Some of that involves treasure in the literal and traditional sense of bullion or banknotes, but there are other more subtle applications.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 5. Organization

Abstract
Government uses nodality, authority and treasure as the mainstay of many of its activities. But these are not, of course, the only resources available to it for detecting or effecting purposes. There is another shot in the locker. The final resource of government that was considered in Chapter 1 is ‘organization’ — a label for a stock of land, buildings and equipment, and a collection of individuals with whatever skills and contacts they may have, in government’s direct possession or otherwise available to it. ‘Organization’ betokens capacity and capability — armies in government’s own service instead of mercenaries.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 6. Comparing the Tools of Government

Abstract
What can we do with the toolkit approach? In the spirit of the proverb quoted above, this chapter looks at one way the framework can be used to make sense of the complexity of contemporary policy-making: by making comparisons. There are at least three ways in which we can use the toolkit approach for comparative analysis. We can compare the way government uses those tools as against other kind of organizations. We can compare the way the tools are used across different governments, levels of government or government agencies. And we can compare the use of the tools over time. At the end of the chapter, we discuss how such comparisons might be quantified, as the next stage in developing the analysis of government’s tools.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 7. Evaluating Government’s Toolkit

Abstract
Having looked at its uses for comparison in the previous chapters, this chapter looks at a second way we can use the toolkit approach. We can use it to design and evaluate public policy. After all, everyone from the most abstract philosophers to the most ‘practical’ policy-makers have to start with whatever is available, and we need to be able to use the toolkit approach in heuristic, investigative and even evaluative ways. For the latter kind of application, the analytic toolkit needs to be combined with some criteria or canons by which we might judge whether the deployment of particular tools is ‘good’ or ‘intelligent’ in some sense: for example, whether it is efficient, effective, appropriately matched to the job in hand and morally acceptable. We discuss that issue at the end of the chapter.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 8. Alternative Approaches to the Tools of Government

Abstract
The general account of government’s tools that we have set out in this book is not the only approach of this type to have developed over the past few decades. So what makes it special and how does it compare with the alternatives? In this chapter, building on a few remarks in Chapter 1, we look briefly at how this approach fits into the broader study of government and public policy, how it compares with other approaches, and what challenges the digital age presents for each type of approach.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts

Chapter 9. Looking Ahead: The Tools of Government in the Digital Age

Abstract
With Solzhenitsyn’s sobering comment in mind, this short concluding chapter aims to summarize this book’s argument and to look cautiously ahead, in three ways. First, building on the previous chapter and our earlier analysis, it aims to project forward the trends we have identified in the tools of government. If the future turned out to be like the recent past, what would happen to the tools of government? Second, moving away from the simplifying generic account of government tools given in this book to the real world of huge differences between states and regimes across the world, we explore what kind of variety we see now and how that might develop. Third, we discuss the potential that the digital age may offer for a ‘sharpening’ of government tools, both to economize on governmental effort and to make government’s interactions with individuals less obtrusive.
Christopher C. Hood, Helen Z. Margetts
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