the dead hand of (something)

the dead hand of (something)

The factor or influence of something that prohibits progress. Our children's education is being stymied by the dead hand of standardized testing.
See also: dead, hand, of

the dead hand

BRITISH
If you talk about the dead hand of someone or something, you mean that they have a very negative influence on a situation, for example by preventing change or progress. The dead hand of bureaucracy now lies heavily on the Space Quest Foundation. One crucial change is that the dead hand of the state looks like being removed from France Télécom.
See also: dead, hand

the dead hand of something

an influence that controls or restricts something: We need to free business from the dead hand of bureaucracy.
See also: dead, hand, of, something