This original analysis of the creation of new state forms critically examines the political forces that enabled `more and better management' to be presented as a solution to the problems of the welfare state in Britain. Examining the micro-politics within public service, the authors draw links between politics, policies and organizational power to present an incisive and dynamic account of the restructuring of social welfare. Clarke and Newman expose the tensions and contradictions in the managerial state and trace the emergence of new dilemmas in the provision of public services. They show that these problems are connected to the recurring difficulties in defining `the public' that receives these services. In partic

A Change for the Better? The Tyranny of Transformation

A change for the better? The tyranny of transformation

The reconstruction of the state has been shaped by the intersection of two ideologies: those of the New Right and of managerialism. Both have constructed definitions of the problems of the old regime and provided visions of the new. This chapter examines how the articulation of these two ideologies created a discourse about change that announced its necessity and its direction. Ideas of ‘transformation’, ‘revolution’, ‘reinvention’ and ‘cultural change’ have become a sustained theme in government pronouncements and political rhetoric ever since Thatcherism signalled the displacement of the political left by the political right as the source and agency of radicalism. Old assumptions were to be challenged; old ...

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