Social Risk of Public Spending Cuts in Scotland: Local Authority Experiences

19 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2015

See all articles by Darinka Asenova

Darinka Asenova

Glasgow Caledonian University

Matthias Beck

Queen's University Belfast

Date Written: June 18, 2015


This paper relates to work supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which examines the way Scottish Local Authorities have approached budget cuts (Asenova, et. al., 2013). Starting with a discussion of notions of social risk, we discuss the heightened challenges faced by local authorities. We note that the literature on public sector innovation predict such pressures would cause local authorities to engage in short term decision making and adopt a static coping approach to risk mitigation which is likely to stifle innovation and obstruct the creation of more coherent and resilient localities. Although we find this to have happened in some areas, we discuss two cases where these challenges have promoted innovative and inclusive approaches to service re-design and delivery.

Keywords: Social Risk, Risk Management, Innovation, Austerity, Local Government, National Government, Scotland, United Kingdom

JEL Classification: H5, H7, I3

Suggested Citation

Asenova, Darinka and Beck, Matthias, Social Risk of Public Spending Cuts in Scotland: Local Authority Experiences (June 18, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Darinka Asenova

Glasgow Caledonian University ( email )

City Campus
Cowcaddens Road
Glasgow G4 0BA, Scotland
United Kingdom

Matthias Beck (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN

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