• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book is an introduction and guide to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the provision of public services over the last two decades. The authors combine theoretical perspectives with a global range of case studies from Europe, North America, and other areas to explain why, how, and with what success liberal democracies have reformed the service role of the state.

Introduction: Liberalising and Modernising Public Services
Introduction: Liberalising and modernising public services

This book's central theme is that the provision of public services in liberal democracies has changed dramatically over the last two decades. In most of Europe the state's involvement in the economy is now better described as indirect and regulatory rather than direct and interventionist. This introductory chapter explores the economic and political philosophies that underpin the foundations for this change and the variations in patterns of change. Changing economic conditions, globalisation and regional integration caused much of the pressure for reform. Gradual trade liberalisation since the Second World War and the digital revolution of the 1990s both accentuated the need for public sector reform and opened up a series of new ways of ...

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