Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Moving in from the fringes: The regulation of complementary and alternative medical practitioners in the UK.

Dixon, Anna Louise (2007) Moving in from the fringes: The regulation of complementary and alternative medical practitioners in the UK. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Download (16MB) | Preview


Taking the cases of five complementary therapies in the United Kingdom, the study seeks to explain why some complementary medical practitioners are statutorily regulated while others remain unregulated. It also asks why regulation has taken the form that it has. The analytical framework used draws on sociology, economics and political science. The study examines whether statutory regulation is best explained as the result of the mobilisation of complementary medical practitioner groups, actions by the state, or interactions between individual policy actors. It tests the explanatory value of demand theories of professionalisation, supply theories of professionalisation, and personal policy network analysis. It also examines the role of ideas in shaping policy. While practitioner groups in all five therapies were professionalised not all actively pursued statutory regulation. In the cases of osteopaths and chiropractors mobilisation by practitioner groups appears to explain their success in gaining statutory regulation. The state's concern to regulate risk appears to have been crucial in the decision to introduce statutory regulation for acupuncturists and herbalists. In all cases, individual policy entrepreneurs and policy advocates, including HRH the Prince of Wales, played a crucial role in shaping the policy process. The medical model of professional self-regulation dominated policy ideas. Alternative regulatory models were seldom debated. The study discusses the implications of the findings for the future of professional regulation of CAM practitioners and healthcare professionals generally. It concludes by suggesting that despite its limitations personal policy network analysis might usefully be applied in other contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Public and Social Welfare, Health Sciences, Health Care Management, Health Sciences, Alternative Medicine
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Collections > ProQuest Etheses

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics