Bureaucratic cutbacks are in the air all over the world. Many people appear sure that taxes are too high and that there are too many bureaucrats. The British government under Margaret Thatcher is generally seen as having been most successful in this regard, particularly on staff reduction. Between 1976 and 1985 there was a drop of nearly 20 per cent, from three-quarters of a million to fewer than 600,000 civil servants in the United Kingdom central government. How were these cutbacks implemented? Did certain civil servants and policy programmes take the brunt, or was the misery shared equally? Or is the entire thing a cosmetic exercise in numbers manipulation? In addressing these issues, Professor Dunsire and Professor Hood set out existing theories on management cutbacks and then test them against what happened in Britain, thus providing a full-length historical study of what actually happened in a decade of cutbacks in one country.