‘Complex government’ relates to many factors:
- the size and multi-level nature of government
- the proliferation of rules, regulations and public bodies
- a crowded arena with blurry boundaries between policymakers and the actors who influence them; and
- general uncertainty when people interact in unpredictable ways within a changeable policy environment.
Complex government is difficult to understand, control, influence and hold to account.
This brief article considers it from various perspectives: scholars trying to conceptualise it; policymakers trying to control or adapt to it; and, scientists, interest groups and individuals trying to influence it.
Cairney Complex Government 14.5.14 (submitted to a special issue – ‘Complex Government’ – in Public Money and Management)