Major Publications


Christopher Hood's major publications include The Limits of Administration (1976), The Tools of Government (1983) (updated as The Tools of Government in the Digital Age (2007) with Helen Margetts), The Art of the State (1998 and 2000) for which he was awarded the Political Studies Association’s W.J.M. Mackenzie Book Prize in 2000 and The Blame Game (published by Princeton University Press in 2011). See below for further publications.

Authored and Joint Authored Books

(lead author with Ruth Dixon) A Government that Worked Better and Cost Less?: Evaluating Three Decades of Reform and Change in UK Central Government, Oxford, OUP, 2015.

The Blame Game: Spin, Bureaucracy and Self-Preservation in Government, Princeton University Press, 2011.

(lead author, with Helen Margetts) The Tools of Government in the Digital Age, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

(lead author, with Martin Lodge) The Politics of Public Service Bargains: Reward, Competency, Loyalty - and Blame, Oxford, OUP, 2006.

(lead author, with Henry Rothstein and Robert Baldwin) The Government of Risk: Understanding Risk Regulation Regimes, Oxford, OUP, 2001 (translated into Spanish).

(third author, with Clare Hall and Colin Scott) Telecommunications Regulation: Culture, Chaos and Interdependence inside the Regulatory Process, London, Routledge, 1999.

(lead author, with Colin Scott, Oliver James, George Jones and Tony Travers) Regulation inside Government: Waste-Watchers, Quality Police and Sleaze-Busters, Oxford, OUP, 1999.

The Art of the State: Culture, Rhetoric and Public Management, Oxford, Clarendon, 1998 (paperback edition 2000, winner of the PSA’s W.J.M. Mackenzie award for best book published in politics, awarded 2000).

Explaining Economic Policy Reversals, Buckingham, Open UP, 1994. (lead author, with Professor Michael W. Jackson)

Administrative Argument, Aldershot, Dartmouth, 1991 (translated into Spanish as La Argumentacion Administrativa, Estudio introductorio de Ricardo Uvalle Berrones, Mexico, Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1997). (second author, with Professor A. Dunsire)

Cutback Management in Public Bureaucracies, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989, reprinted 2010.

Administrative Analysis: An Introduction to Rules, Enforcement and Organization, Brighton, Harvester, 1986 (translated into Japanese & Greek).

The Tools of Government, London, Macmillan, 1983.

(lead author, with Professor A. Dunsire) Bureaumetrics, Farnborough, Gower, 1981.

The Limits of Administration, London, Wiley 1976 (translated into Spanish as Los Alcances de la Administracion Publica, Mexico, Editorial Limusa, 1979).

Edited Books

(lead author with David Heald and Rozana Himaz) When the Party's Over: The Politics of Fiscal Squeeze in Perspective, Oxford, British Academy/OUP 2014.

(lead author with Desmond King and Gillian Peele) Forging a Discipline: A Critical Assessment of Oxford's Development of Politics and IR in Comparative Perspective, OUP, 2014.

(third editor, with Helen Margetts and Perri 6) Paradoxes of Modernization: Unintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform, Oxford, OUP, June 2010.

(lead editor, with David Heald) Transparency: The Key to Better Governance, Oxford, British Academy/OUP, 2006. Reviews of this book on David Heald's website

(lead editor, with Oliver James, B. Guy Peters and Colin Scott) Controlling Modern Government: Variety, Commonality and Change, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2004 (translated into Ukrainian). Review by Evert Lindquist in Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (subscription required)

(second editor, with Jens Hesse and B. Guy Peters) Paradoxes in Public Sector Reform: An International Comparison, Berlin, Duncker and Humblot, 2003.

(lead editor, with B. Guy Peters and Grace Lee) Reward for High Public Office: Asian and Pacific Rim States, London, Routledge, 2003.

(third editor, with Professor R. Baldwin and C. Scott) A Reader on Regulation, Oxford, OUP, 1998.

(lead editor, with Professor D.C.K. Jones) Accident and Design, London, UCL Press, 1996.

(lead editor, with Professor B. Guy Peters) Rewards at the Top, London, Sage, 1994.

(lead editor, with Professor G.F. Schuppert) Delivering Public Services: Sharing Western European Experience, London, Sage, 1988. (translated into German as Verselbständigte Verwaltungseinheiten in Westeuropa, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 1988).

(lead editor, with Professor M. Wright) Big Government in Hard Times, Oxford, Robertson, 1981.

Selected Articles, Chapters and Papers 


(with Ruth Dixon). What We Have to Show for 30 Years of New Public Management: Higher Costs, More Complaints. Governance, Wiley Early View, 1 - 3. Full article here


Accountability and Blame-Avoidance. Chapter 37  (pp 603-616) in The Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability, Mark Bovens, Robert E. Goodin and Thomas Schillemans (Editors) Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014.



Reflections on Public Service Reform in a Cold Fiscal Climate. Chapter 13 (pp 215-229) in Public Services: A New Reform Agenda, Simon Griffiths, Henry Kippin and Gerry Stoker (Editors) Bloomsbury, London, 2013.

Can Cultural Theory Give us a Handle on the Difference Context Makes to Management by Numbers? Chapter 8 (pp 115-123) in Context in Public Policy and Management: The Missing Link?, Christopher Pollitt (Editor) Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, 2013.

(with Ruth Dixon, Christiane Arndt, Manuel Mullers, Jarmo Vakkuri, Kristiina Engblom-Pelkkala) A Lever for Improvement or a Magnet for Blame? Press and Political Responses to International Educational Rankings in Four EU Countries. Public Administration, 91:2: 484 - 506. Abstract


(with Ruth Dixon) A Model of Cost-Cutting in Government? The Great Management Revolution in UK Central Government Reconsidered. Public Administration, 91:1:115 - 134. Abstract




(with Ruth Dixon) Ranking for Success: a No-brainer? Oxford Magazine, 327: 3 - 5, Michaelmas Term 2012. Article


(with Martin Lodge) Regulation Inside Government: Retro-Theory Vindicated or Outdated? Chapter 24 (pp 590-609) in The Oxford Handbook of Regulation, Robert Baldwin, Martin Cave, Martin Lodge (Editors) Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012.


Public Management by Numbers as a Performance-Enhancing Drug: Two Hypotheses Public Administration Review 72, special issue November 2012. Abstract


Administrative Diseases: Some Types of Dysfunctionality in Administration Public Administration 90 Years of Articles virtual issue, June 2012. First appeared 52 (4) 1974. Article

Explorations in Governance A collection of papers in honour of Christopher Hood. 15 March 2012, Institute for Government. Link to video proceedings and  Link to papers

(with Martin Lodge) Into an Age of Multiple Austerities? Public Management and Public Service Bargains Across OECD Countries Governance 25 (1): 79-102 January 2012. Link to Journal


From FOI World to Wikileaks World: A New Chapter in the Transparency Story? Governance 24 (4): 635-638 October 2011.

Risk and Government: The Architectonics of Blame-Avoidance Chapter 4 (pp 62-84) in Risk, Layla Skinns, Michael Scott and Tony Cox (Editors) Cambridge University Press, New York, 2011.

Book Review: The Ashgate Research Companion to New Public Management Governance 24 (4): 737-739 October 2011.

A Public Management for All Seasons? Afterword: Bringing Back Agents Chapter 10 (pp 199-214) in Public Administration: 25 Years of Analysis and Debate, R. A. W. Rhodes (Editor) Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2011.

Blame Avoidance and Accountability: Positive, Negative, or Neutral? Chapter 10 (pp 167-179) in Accountable Governance: Problems and Promises, Melvin J. Dubnick and H. George Frederickson (Editors) M.E. Sharpe, New York, 2011.

It's Public Administration, Rod, but Maybe Not as We Know It: British Public Administration in the 2000s Public Administration 89 (1): 128-139 March 2011. Link to Journal

Public Management Research on the Road from Consilience to Experimentation Public Management Review 13 (2): 321-327 February 2011. Link to Journal



Accountability and Transparency: Siamese Twins, Matching Parts or Awkward Couple? West European Politics 33 (5): 989-1009 September 2010. Abstract

Yes, You Can Cut Back And Reform But It's a Tough Call Parliamentary Brief September 2010.

Can We? Administrative Limits Revisited Public Administration Review 70 (4) : 527 - 534, July 2010. Abstract

(with George Boyne) Editorial: Incentives: New Research on an Old Problem Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20 (Suppl 2): i77-i80, July 2010. Table of contents of special issue

(with Ruth Dixon) The Political Payoff from Performance Target Systems: No-Brainer or No-Gainer? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 20 (Suppl 2): i281-i298, July 2010. Abstract

Reflections on Public Service Reform in a Cold Fiscal Climate Paper for 2020 Commission on Public Services Public Services Trust Launched 17 June 2010.

(with Helen Margetts) Cyber-bureaucracy: If Information Technology is So Central to Public Administration, Why Is It so Ghetto-ized? Chapter 5 (pp 114-135) in Comparative Administrative Change and Reform, Jon Pierre and Patricia W. Ingraham (Editors) McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 2010.

(Discussant of paper by Rhys Andrews and George Boyne) Better Public Services Public Management Review, 12(3) 307— 321, May 2010. Abstract

(with Ruth Dixon and Deborah Wilson) Keeping Up the Standards? The Use of Targets and Rankings to Improve Performance School Leadership Today, March 2010. PDF

Options for Britain: Measuring and Managing Public Services Performance in Options for Britain II: Cross Cutting Policy Issues - Changes and Challenges Varun Uberoi, Adam Coutts, Iain McLean and David Halpern (Editors) Political Quarterly Special Issue, February 2010, 7-18.



(with Ruth Dixon and Deborah Wilson) Managing by Numbers: the Way to Make Public Services Better? Policy Briefing presented at the ONS UKCeMGA and NIESR International Conference on Public Service Measurement, November 2009

(with Carl Emmerson and Ruth Dixon) Public Spending in Hard Times Policy Briefing presented to the Institute for Government, June 2009

(with Peter Miller) Public Service Risks: What's Distinctive and New? Risk and Public Services. A joint publication of CARR and the ESRC Public Services Programme, May 2009. PDF

(with Will Jennings, Ruth Dixon, and Brian Hogwood with Craig Beeston) Testing Times: exploring staged responses and the impact of blame management strategies in two exam fiasco cases. European Journal of Political Research, 48 695-722 2009. Abstract



(with Ruth Dixon and Craig Beeston) Rating the Rankings: Assessing International Rankings of Public Service Performance. International Public Management Journal 11(3) September 2008 298-358. Winner of the June Pallot Award for best article in IPMJ 2008. Abstract

(with Ruth Dixon and Lawrence Jones) Editorial: Ratings and Rankings of Public Service Performance. Introduction to the Special Issue. International Public Management Journal 11(3) September 2008 253-255. Table of contents of special issue

Book Review: Data Analysis and Citizenship Focus: Analytic Master Keys to Better Governance? Public Administration Review 68(3) May/June 2008 576-578.

Book Review: Instruction to deliver: Tony Blair, public services and the challenge of achieving targets Public Administration 86(1) 2008. Full text


(with Martin Lodge) 'Putting it in writing' is not the best way to make peace with Sir Humphrey Parliamentary Brief 11(6) August 2007 17-18.

(with Will Jennings, Brian Hogwood and Craig Beeston) Fighting Fires in Testing Times: Exploring a Staged Response Hypothesis for Blame Management in Two Exam Fiasco Cases CARR Discussion Paper 42 July 2007

Book Review: The politics of evaluation: Participation and policy implementation British Journal of Sociology 58(1) 2007 156-157. PDF

What happens when Transparency Meets Blame-Avoidance? Public Management Review 9(2) 2007 191-210. Abstract

(second author, with Andrew Gray) Public Management by Numbers Editorial: Public Money and Management April 2007 Vol 27(2), 89. Table of contents of themed issue

Public Service Management by Numbers: Why Does it Vary? Where Has it Come From? What Are the Gaps and the Puzzles? Public Money and Management April 2007 Vol 27(2), 95-102. Abstract

(with Martin Lodge) Civil Service reform syndrome - are we heading for a cure? Transformation, Spring 2007, 58-59. PDF

The Numbers Game Ethos Magazine, Issue 1, March 2007 33-35. Article Ethos Magazine Issue 1. PDF

Intellectual obsolescence and intellectual makeovers: Reflections on the tools of government after two decades Governance, 20(1) Jan 2007, 127-144. Abstract


(with Martin Lodge) From Sir Humphrey to Sir Nigel: What future for the public service bargain after Blairworld? Political Quarterly, 77(3) Jul/Sept 2006, 360-368.

Gaming in Targetworld: The Targets Approach to Managing British Public Services Public Administration Review, July/August 2006 66(4) 515-520. Abstract

(with Gwyn Bevan) What’s Measured is What Matters: Targets and Gaming in Healthcare in England Public Administration 84 (3) 2006 517-538. Abstract

The Tools of Government in the Information Age in M. Moran, M. Rein and R.E. Goodin (eds.),The Oxford Handbook of Political Science Oxford, OUP, 2006. Chapter

(with Gwyn Bevan) Health Policy - Have Targets Improved Performance in the English NHS? British Medical Journal 332(7538): 419-422B 2006. Abstract


Book Review: The British regulatory state: High modernism and hyper-innovation Public Administration 83 (1) 2005 248-250.

(with Martin Lodge) Aesop with Variations: Civil Service Competency as a Case of German Tortoise and British Hare? Public Administration 83 (4) 2005 805-822. Abstract

(with Martin Lodge) Symposium introduction: Competency and higher civil servants Public Administration 83 (4) 2005 779-787. Abstract Table of contents of symposium issue

(with Edward Page and Martin Lodge) Conclusion: Is competency management a passing fad? Public Administration 83 (4) 2005 853-860. Abstract

Comment l'administration britannique cultive la performance Sociétal No 47 2005.

(with Martin Lodge) Chapter 7: Pavlovian Innovation, Pet Solutions and Economizing on Rationality: Politicians and Dangerous Dogs in J. Black, M. Lodge and M. Thatcher (eds) Regulatory Innovation: A Comparative Analysis, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2005.

Chapter 1: Public Management: The Word, the Movement, the Science in E. Ferlie, L.E. Lynn and C. Pollitt (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Public Management, Oxford, OUP, 2005.

Chapter 2: The Idea of Joined Up Government: A Historical Perspective in V. Bogdanor (ed) Joined Up Government, Oxford, British Academy/OUP, 2005.

Which Organization, Whose Theory? The 9/11 Commission Report and Organization Theory International Public Management Journal 8 (3) 2005.


(with M. Lodge) Competency, Bureaucracy and Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis Governance 17 (3) 2004. Abstract

(with Gwyn Bevan) Editorial: Targets, inspections, and transparency - too much predictability in the name of transparency weakens control British Medical Journal 328(7440): 598 2004.

(with B. Guy Peters) The Middle Aging of New Public Management: Into the Age of Paradox? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 14 (3) 2004. Abstract


Chapter 8: The Tax State in the Information Age in T.V. Paul, G.J. Ikenberry and J.A. Hall (eds.), The Nation State in Question Princeton, Princeton University Press 2003.

(with M. Lodge) Competency and Bureaucracy: Diffusion, application and appropriate response? West European Politics 26 (3) 131-152 2003. Abstract


Managing Risk and Managing Blame: A Political Science Perspective in A. Weale (ed.), Risk, Democratic Citizenship and Public Policy Oxford, British Academy and Oxford University Press 2003.

The Risk Game and the Blame Game, Government and Opposition 37 (1) 15-37 2002. Abstract

(with M. Lodge and C. Clifford) Civil Service Policy-Making Competencies in the German BMWi and British DTI, London, Industry Forum 2002. Download

Encyclopedia entry on New Public Management in The Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier 2002.

Book Review: Governing by Numbers Political Studies 50(1) 167-168 2002.

Control, Bargains and Cheating: The Politics of Public Service Reform. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 12(3) 309-332 2002. Abstract Reprinted in Organizing Government (George Boyne and Rachel Ashworth, Eds.) 2010, Sage Publications.


Public service managerialism: Onwards and upwards, or 'trobriand cricket' again? Political Quarterly 72(3) 300-209 2001.

Entry on Transparency in P. B. Clarke and J. Foweraker (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Democratic Thought, London, Routledge 2001: 700-704.

(with H. Rothstein) Risk Regulation under Pressure: Problem Solving or Blame Shifting? Administration and Society 33(1) 2001.


Paradoxes of Public-Sector Managerialism, Old Public Management and Public Service Bargains, International Public Management Journal 3 2000.

(with R. Baldwin and H. Rothstein) Assessing the Dangerous Dogs Act: When Does a Regulatory Law Fail? Public Law Summer 2000.

(with O. James and C. Scott) Regulation of government: Has it increased, is it increasing, should it be diminished? Public Administration 78(2) 283-304 2000.

(with H. Rothstein) Annex 2 Business Risk Management in Government: Pitfalls and Possibilities, NAO Report, Supporting Innovation: Managing Risk in Government Departments, HC 864 1999-2000 London, HMSO: 21-32. This paper was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for "EL: Social Responsibility & Public Policy (Topic)" and "SRPP: Social Responsibility, Sustainability & Environmental Policy (Topic)". Download

Book Review: Compliance: Regulation and environment Public Administration 78(2) 467-468 2000.

(with H. Rothstein, C. Hall, and R. Baldwin) Risk regulation and 'opinion-responsive government' in M.P. Cottam, R.P. Pape, and D.W. Harvey, eds., Foresight and Precaution, Volumes 1 and 2 151-157 2000.


British Public Administration in J.E.S. Hayward et al. (eds.), The Study of Politics: The Twentieth Century British Contribution, BA/OUP 1999.

Individualized Contracts for Top Civil Servants: Copying Business, Path-Dependent Political Re-engineering – or Trobriand Cricket? Governance 11 (4) 443-62 1998.

(with O. James, G. Jones and C. Scott) Regulation inside government: Where new public management meets the audit explosion Public Money and Management 18 (2) 61-68 1998.

Control over Bureaucracy, Journal of Public Policy 15 (3) 1996.

UK: From Second Chance to Near Miss Learning in J.P. Olsen and B.G. Peters (eds.), Lessons from Experience Oslo, Scandinavian UP 1996: 36-70.

(with C. Scott) Bureaucratic regulation and new public management in the United Kingdom: Mirror-image developments? Journal of Law and Society 23 (3) 321-345 1996.

Exploring Variations in Public Management Reform of the 1980s in J. Perry et al. (eds.), Civil Service Systems in Comparative Perspective, Bloomington, Indiana UP 1996: 268-87.

The "New Public Management" in the 1980s: Variations on a Theme. Accounting, Organizations and Society 20 (2/3) 1995 93-109. Abstract

Deprivileging the UK Civil Service in the 1980s: Dream or Reality? in J. Pierre (ed.), Bureaucracy in the Modern State, Aldershot, Elgar 1995: 92-117.

(with P. Dunleavy) From old public administration to new public management. Public Money and Management 14 (3) 9-16 1994.

(with D.K.C. Jones, N.F. Pidgeon and B.A. Turner) Risk Management, Ch 6 in Royal Society, Risk, London, Royal Society 1992: 135-92.

A Public Management for All Seasons? Public Administration 69 1991: 3-19. PDF


Chs 9 and 40 in F-X. Kaufmann et al. (eds.), Guidance Control and Performance Evaluation in the Public Sector, Berlin, de Gruyter 1986.

British Tax Structure Development as Administrative Adaptation, Policy Sciences 18 1985.

Using bureaucracy sparingly Public Administration 61(2) 1983: 197-208. PDF

Non-Departmental Bodies and Government Growth in A. Barker (ed.), Quangos in Britain, London, Macmillan 1982.


Keeping the Centre Small, Political Studies 26(1) 30-46 1978.

(with W.J.M. Mackenzie) Chs 2, 7 and Appendix III in D.C. Hague et al. Public Policy and Private Interests, London, Macmillan 1975.

Administrative Diseases: Some Types of Dysfunctionality in Administration Public Administration 52 1974. PDF

The Rise and Rise of the British Quango, New Society 16 August 1973.

The Development of Betting Taxes in Britain, Public Administration 50 1972.