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Understanding Policy Scandals in Historical Context: A Longer-Term Lens for Policy Analysis

  • PATRICK BROWN (a1), RUBÉN FLORES (a2) (a3) and ANDY ALASZEWSKI (a4)

Abstract

The emergence of and reaction to policy scandals has been usefully studied through comparative case studies. Far less attention has been devoted, however, to the study of such scandals in long-term historical context. With the aim of illuminating longer-term social processes which shape the likelihood that (health)care scandals emerge, we delineate three areas where such changes are visible: a) changing formats of social relations and emotions within and around care provision, and thereby understandings of and demands for compassionate care; b) heightened organisational and political sensitivity to failings; and c) changes in media reporting on healthcare failings, as well as in policy-makers’ responsiveness to and manipulation of media. We consider the 2013 Mid Staffordshire scandal in the English National Health Service and the extant policy literature on this scandal to help illuminate the added analytical value of our long-term approach. In the final section we explore the interconnection of the three processes and how longer-term approaches open up new vistas for policy analysis.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

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