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The Blame Game - Spin, Bureaucracy, and Self-Preservation in Government
Spin, Bureaucracy, and Self-Preservation in Government
Hood, Christopher

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Über den Autor

Christopher Hood is the Gladstone Professor of Government at All Souls College, Oxford. His books include The Limits of Administration, The Tools of Government, and The Art of the State.


List of Illustrations vii Preface ix Part One: Blame, Credit, and Trust in Executive Government Chapter One: Credit Claiming, Blame Avoidance, and Negativity Bias 3 Chapter Two: Players in the Blame Game: Inside the World of Blame Avoidance 24 Part Two: Avoiding Blame: Three Basic Strategies Chapter Three: Presentational Strategies: Winning the Argument, Drawing a Line, Changing the Subject, and Keeping a Low Profi le 47 Chapter Four: Agency Strategies: Direct or Delegate, Choose or Inherit? 67 Chapter Five: Policy or Operational Strategies 90 Chapter Six: The Institutional Dynamics of Blameworld: A New Tefl on Era? 112 Part Three: Living in a World of Blame Avoidance Chapter Seven: Mixing and Matching Blame-Avoidance Strategies 135 Chapter Eight: Democracy, Good Governance, and Blame Avoidance 157 Chapter Nine: The Last Word 181 Notes 187 References 201 Index 219


The blame game, with its finger-pointing and mutual buck-passing, is a familiar feature of politics and organizational life, and blame avoidance pervades government and public organizations at every level. Political and bureaucratic blame games and blame avoidance are more often condemned than analyzed. In The Blame Game, Christopher Hood takes a different approach by showing how blame avoidance shapes the workings of government and public services. Arguing that the blaming phenomenon is not all bad, Hood demonstrates that it can actually help to pin down responsibility, and he examines different kinds of blame avoidance, both positive and negative.