Chapter

Choice in public services: ‘no choice but to choose’

Catherine Needham

in Modernising the welfare state

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420404
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302834 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420404.003.0011
Choice in public services: ‘no choice but to choose’

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This chapter explores New Labour's approach to choice at each of Hall's three levels, and considers how 6 and Peck's themes of modernisation are manifest in detailed policy settings. It also examines changes over Blair's two-and-a-half terms as Prime Minister and between different public services. The chapter highlights the government's growing fascination with choice, and the tendency to offer distinctive models of choice to different welfare users. It concludes by looking at how political leaders after Blair are interpreting and applying choice in public services, highlighting the narrowness of mainstream party agendas, which offer users ‘no choice but to choose’.

Keywords: New Labour; choice; modernization; public services; welfare policy

Chapter.  7319 words. 

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