Event information:

Event description:

Liberal democracies across the world are experiencing an existential threat from the rise of national populism and democratic backsliding. At the same time systems of government that are driven by electoral cycles and consultative decision-making processes often seem ineffective in dealing with complex grand challenges that require long-term joined-up solutions. This research explores the strategic state as an antidote to these internal weaknesses and external threats. Whilst the concept of the strategic state can be traced back to the 1990's this research sets out the first attempt at implementing a fully functioning strategic state in Scotland in 2007/08. This is in the context of reforms that were made at that time including establishment of a National Performance Framework (NPF), a reformed civil service organizational structure and the development of a whole-of-society approach to governance. Through exploring more recent reforms to the NPF, and using illustrative examples from practice, it is shown how a lack of focus and waning momentum has created significant challenges in the practice of strategy across the Scottish Government, police service and health service. The lessons from this case offer important insights for designing systems of government fit for the 21st Century.

Guest speaker:

Dr Ian C Elliott is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Administration at the Centre for Public Policy, University of Glasgow. His research interests include public leadership, organisational change and the strategic state. He is a member of the Scottish Government's Expert Advisory Panel on the National Performance Framework and has advised both the UK and Scottish Government on decision-making and strategic government. He is co-editor of the Handbook of Teaching Public Administration and co-Editor-in-Chief of Public Administration and Development. 


André Lecours is Full Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa.

If you require accommodation, please contact the event host as soon as possible.
Date and time
May 2, 2024
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Format and location
In person
Social Sciences Building (FSS)
Room 5027
Undergraduate students, Graduate students, Researchers, General public
Organized by
Centre on Governance, School of Political Studies