Public Policy beyond the Financial Crisis: An International Comparative Study, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Public Policy beyond the Financial Crisis

An International Comparative Study, 1st Edition

By Philip Haynes


210 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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The economic crisis of 2008-2009 and beyond has provided the greatest challenge to public policy in the developed world since the Second World War, as the use of public monies to support banks and declining tax revenues have resulted in rising government borrowing and national debt.

This book evaluates the failures of public policy in the half decade before the crisis, using the conceptual framework of complex systems. This analysis reveals the fundamental failings of globalization and the lack of a robust and resilient public sector paradigm to assist countries in economic recovery. The research has benefited from UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding for a Knowledge Exchange that applied the most relevant and applied aspects of complex systems theory to contemporary policy problems.

Innovative statistical methods are used to profile and group countries both before and after the 2008-09 crisis. This shows the countries that are best prepared for the ongoing and prolonged Euro zone crisis of 2010-12. The book proposes a new model of public policy that asserts itself over the paradigm of market liberalism and places the public values of full employment, sustainability and equality at the top of the post crisis policy agenda.


'Philip Haynes has produced an important book for anyone who wishes to understand why the global financial crisis developed in the way it did. He explores the reasons why governments throughout the world reacted with certain policies. Haynes takes difficult mathematically-based concepts, such as complexity theory and applies them to deliver an understanding of the policy context for the way the financial crisis developed across a range of countries. He shows the strengths and limitations of markets and policy makers in both the governing institutions and private sectors. It is a clearly written and methodologically and theoretically innovative book; it should be required reading for practitioners and academics alike.'

Andrew Massey, University of Exeter, UK

'The global financial crisis continues to cast a long shadow. There are scholarly works on the nature of the crisis of 2008. Philip Haynes takes this further. His articulate and lucid analysis of the original crisis and the manner in which the corporate debt crisis of banks became an issue of sovereign debt and the consequent and current policy options confronting governments makes this book essential reading for all interested in this, the most topical subject of the 21st century.'

Irvine Lapsley, University of Edinburgh, UK

'Those of us who wanted the social sciences to take a turn to complexity have always understood that the test of that turn would be the use of complexity ideas in addressing major social and political issues. No issue could be more important than the current economic crisis. In this book Phil Haynes deploys the full repertoire of complexity related methods in a way which greatly illuminates our understanding of what has happened and what might happen going forward. This is an exemplary book in terms of method and a fundamentally important one in terms of its substantive focus.'

David Byrne, Durham University, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Complexity Theory and Public Policy: A Radical Methodology 2. Case Based Methods and National Comparisons 3. National Comparisons: The Road to the Crisis 4. Instability and Chaos: The Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 5. Intervention: The Policy Response 6. The Second Crisis: From Private Debt to Public Debt 7. From Austerity to Opportunity: The Next Ten Years 8. Resilient Polices: Protection Against Chaos and Shocks 9. Conclusion: New Methods and New Policies

About the Author

Philip Haynes is Professor of Public Policy and Head of the School of Applied Social Science at the University of Brighton, UK. His previous books include Managing Complexity in the Public Services (Open University Press, 2003) and Complex Policy Planning (Ashgate Publishing, 1999). His research has been funded by the UK ESRC, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and government agencies

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Public Management

The study and practice of public management has undergone profound changes across the world. Over the last quarter century, we have seen

  • the increasing criticism of public administration as the over-arching framework for the provision of public services
  • the rise (and critical appraisal) of the ‘New Public Management’ as an emergent paradigm for the provision of public services
  • the transformation of the ‘public sector’ into the cross-sectoral provision of public services
  • the growth of the governance of inter-organizational relationships as an essential element in the provision of public services

In reality these trends have not so much replaced each other as elided or co-existed together – the public policy process has not gone away as a legitimate topic of study, intra-organizational management continues to be essential to the efficient provision of public services, whist the governance of inter-organizational and inter-sectoral relationships is now essential to the effective provision of these services.

This series is dedicated to presenting and critiquing this important body of theory and empirical study. It will publish books that both explore and evaluate the emergent and developing nature of public administration, management and governance (in theory and practice) and examine the relationship with and contribution to the over-arching disciplines of management and organizational sociology. Books in the series will be of interest to academics and researchers in this field, students undertaking advanced studies, and reflective policy makers and practitioners.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics