Assessing governance and learning lessons

Louise Geddes (Exeter, UK)
Rory Shand (Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Publication date: 11 November 2013



The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of tiers of governance and discuss the findings from research into a crime policy's implementation focusing on resourcing, community engagement, accountability and leadership. The paper examines the shift from partnership delivery to the Big Society.


18 in-depth semi-structured interviews with partnership managers from a range of organisations combined with non-participant semi-structured of ten partnership meetings and documentary analysis were undertaken, in tandem with the policy networks framework.


Despite the expectations placed on crime partnerships by New Labour, governance has continued to be driven by professionals and dominated by the large public sector organisations, rather than the community they serve or their service users, and with little involvement from the business sector in delivery. The focus upon voluntarism, enterprise and business in the Big Society vision will mean rapid adaptation in the sector if it is to fit the Big Society agenda successfully.


The paper serves to set out the relationships between key actors in governance in this policy area and the relevance of this to the Big Society idea. Its findings and lessons can be used to compare the policy sector across countries and for practical use by policy makers.



Geddes, L. and Shand, R. (2013), "Assessing governance and learning lessons", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 401-416.

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