Managing municipal austerity: mitigation of social risks

Darinka Asenova, Stephen Bailey, Claire McCann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The overarching objective of this article is to stimulate debate about how local authorities could and should manage their austerity measures because the speed, scale and aggregation of the UK public spending cuts risk adversely affecting already disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, exacerbating social exclusion and leading to higher costs for councils in the future. It presents the results of research conducted during 2011–2012 focusing on if and how five Scottish case study councils attempted to mitigate social risks. It found that they were using equalities impact assessment (EIA) procedures in their decision-making. However, EIAs are not fit for purpose as a risk mitigation tool and fail to take account of all groups which may also be adversely affected by service cuts. Hence, this article recommends a more innovative approach in local decision-making processes based on a social risk impact assessment (SRIA) model within a preventative approach to social policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number1
Early online date22 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • social risk
  • risk mitigation
  • risk governance
  • austerity measures
  • social policy
  • public spending


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