The regulation of standards in British public life

Doing the right thing?

By David Hine and Gillian Peele

The regulation of standards in British public life


  • Paperback
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9713-3
  • Pages: 312
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Central / national / federal government policies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General, Society & social sciences / Public administration, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Politics, Political science & theory


One of the most profound changes in British public life over the last twenty years has been the increasing concern with probity and standards. Some of that concern has been the product of scandals such as the cash for questions affair and the expenses scandal; some of it reflects the erosion of trust in politicians and in traditional approaches to government and administration. The book analyses the way new machinery and new rules have been put in place in different parts of the public sector as a protection against corruption and conflict of interest and as a spur to raising standards. It provides the first full-length treatment of the evolving integrity agenda in the United Kingdom.

The book traces the impact of the Committee on Standards in Public Life which set out the Nolan principles in its first report in 1995 and examines how those principles have been applied in different sectors - Parliament, the executive, the civil service, local government and the devolved governments - and how they have been applied to the problems of party funding and lobbying. Finally, it assesses the changing level of support for the Committee's mission and the impact of its work both on the quality of public life itself and on public confidence.


Introduction: Regulating public ethics in the United Kingdom
1. Building integrity machinery: the origins
2. Building integrity machinery: the Committee on Standards in Public Life
3. The House of Commons: the slow erosion of self-regulation
4. IPSA: the costs and benefits of external regulation
5. Reluctant reform in the House of Lords
6. Regulating ethics at the centre: the Ministerial Code
7. Whitehall Wars: keeping politics out of the civil service
8. Revolving doors and regulated afterlives: post-employment for ministers and civil servants
9. Getting to grips with lobbies: regulated office-holders, unregulated lobbies
10. The Electoral Commission and party funding
11. Regulation of ethics in local government
12. Regulation beyond the centre: ethics in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast
Conclusion: Standards, office-holders and public opinion: higher standards, lower credibility?


David Hine is Official Tutorial Fellow in Politics at Christ Church, University of Oxford

Gillian Peele is Official Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford

The regulation of standards in British public life

By David Hine, Gillian Peele

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

Paperback £20.00 / $29.95

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