Protecting the living: Managerialism and professional turf wars in risk regulatory death investigations

Myles Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how general trends in the management of public institutions, and a specific turf war between the doctors and lawyers in Ontario, Canada, have combined to shape an important risk regulatory decisionmaking process: the coroner's inquest. Drawing on ethnographic evidence, I show how the priorities of managerialism, and the collateral effects of physician coroners battling with lawyers, have reduced the number of public inquests convened in Ontario by 80 per cent over a 20-year period. Where many public safety decisions affecting the province's legal, policy, and physical environments were once made at public inquests, they appear now more likely to be made in private. The paper examines the implications of reduced public participation in the analysis of, and response to, death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-351
Number of pages13
JournalRegulation and Governance
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • Coroners
  • Death investigation
  • Managerialism
  • Public engagement
  • Public safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Law

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