The idea involves both collaboration and co-ordination, the notion that different parts of society and the state should work together - not against each other.
As an objective, joined-up government is a response to the increasing complexity of the world around us, from IT to globalisation to diverse communities - the applied part of multi-level governance, if you like. It is also, quite simply, a more sophisticated approach to problem solving.
LGC's joined-up government supplement takes a look at where the idea came from, how it is done, and where it is going.
We examine the centre's approach, and find that while it has abandoned its traditional, Cabinet government way of joining up, alternatives have yet to prove themselves.
Although joined-up government stems from a long-established tradition of seeking greater collaboration in the public sector, it remains horrendously complicated to implement. Evaluating what actually works is a huge conundrum.
But improving public services is unimaginable today without reference to joining up, so it is a conundrum no public servant can afford to ignore.