Beyond Hollowing Out: Straitjacketing the State

For two decades, the metaphor hollowing out dominated discussions about the changing role of the state in delivering public services. Today, this metaphor no longer captures important contemporary developments. European Union policy has expanded deeper and deeper into public service sectors , increasingly constraining government’s capacities to deliver these services. I suggest a new metaphor to capture this: straitjacketing the state. People are straitjacketed when they are perceived to be at risk of damaging themselves through self-harm. Straitjacketing the state occurs when a state signs up to a new set of supranational rules which purportedly will help avoid it damaging itself, by restricting room for localized inefficient practices. However, due to the strength of the straitjacket, governments become being significantly restricted in choosing policies for domestic implementation according to their preferences.Beyond Hollowing Out: Straitjacketing the State - ResearchGate. Available from:

Slideshow Image: 



Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales
University of Cantabria
39005 Cantabria



Give me a call at+34 942 201287

Email me at



Subscribe and get the latest updates, news, and more...