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QoG lunch seminar with Mark Knights

Research profile seminar

The QoG Institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government. The seminars address the theoretical and empirical problem of how political institutions of high quality can be created and maintained as well as the effects of Quality of Government on a number of policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy, and poverty.

Speakers are invited from the international research community and experts from NGOs and other organizations to the lunch seminars. The seminars last for one hour and include a short presentation by the speaker (30-35 min) followed by a joint discussion about the topic.

If nothing else is indicated, the seminars are held in English.

Title of seminar:
The genesis of public office in Britain 1550-1850

How does anti-corruption work and how does it relate to the history of public office? Is that history relevant to policy formation? Several recent studies have suggested a step change in a number of European countries in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, and hence stressed the importance of intense periods of reform pushing societies over a threshold towards more `modern` government. Whilst it is true that very significant reforms were made in this period, particularly in tackling administrative corruption, a focus solely on the so-called ´age of reform´ risks losing sight of an important longer cultural gestation and a series of earlier crises that cumulatively produced change. Such a long view is also necessary if we are to understand how notions and practices relating to public office evolved over time. My paper will explore three areas in which attitudes to, and reform of, public office have to be seen in this context of a much longer process of change: 1) a shift towards a notion and practice of ´entrusted power´, that got underway in the mid-seventeenth century 2) the sale of public office, a debate which stretched from the mid sixteenth century onwards and 3) the need for public accounting and ´accountability´, which was a story that might start in the medieval period and underwent a series of different phases thereafter. I will also discuss the policy implications of my conclusions in relation to institutional and cultural change.

Lecturer: Mark Knights Professor at the Department of History, University of Warwick http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/people/staff_index/mknight/

Date: 12/13/2017

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Categories: Social Sciences

Organizer: The Quality of Government Institute

Location: Stora Skansen (B336) Sprängkullsgatan 19

Contact person: Alice Johansson

Page Manager: Alice Johansson|Last update: 6/10/2016

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