Chapter

The new governance of Australian welfare: street-level contingencies

Cosmo Howard

in Administering welfare reform

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9781861346520
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301417 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346520.003.0007
The new governance of Australian welfare: street-level contingencies

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This chapter serves as a report on the findings of an ethnographic study about the street-level experiences of welfare reform in Centrelink, which is a national benefits agency in Australia. These findings show that there is more incoherence and contradiction within welfare reform than is being suggested by the linear neo-liberal accounts of the process. The discussion focuses on three important aspects of Australian welfare reform, namely: policy concerning sanctions, the delivery of a personalised ‘One-to-One Service’, and the changing role of ‘risk management’ techniques. The chapter concludes with a review of the implications of the findings for the theories of welfare governance.

Keywords: ethnography; sanctions; Centrelink; risk management; Australian welfare reform; welfare governance

Chapter.  7953 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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