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

Reinventing the Public

Reinventing the public

The New Right attack on the welfare state involved a fundamental hostility to the institutional forms in which social democratic representations of the public were materialised and sedimented. The changes that followed can be seen in terms of an attempt to reconstruct the relationship between the public and the state around the individualised and familialised figure of the consumer. These neo-liberal conceptions were embodied in the public choice critiques of producer monopolies, in the Thatcher claim that ‘there is no such thing as society’, and in her governments' efforts to make this claim come true. Consumerism addressed a nation of private interests through the rhetoric of choice, counterposed individual freedoms to collectivist social provision, and framed social differentiation within a ...

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