Introduction: Markets and the New Welfare - Buying and Selling the Poor
AuthorConsidine, M; O'Sullivan, SB
Source TitleSocial Policy and Administration: an international journal of policy and research
AffiliationSchool of Culture and Communication
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsConsidine, M. & O'Sullivan, S. B. (2014). Introduction: Markets and the New Welfare - Buying and Selling the Poor. Social Policy & Administration, 48 (2), pp.119-126. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12052.
Access StatusOpen Access
With welfare reformers in almost every country experimenting with forms of privatization and what its advocates have called ‘supervisory approaches to poverty’ or ‘a new behaviouralism’, it is timely to present this special edition of Social Policy & Administration. Dedicating a volume to the governance of quasi-markets in welfare services attests to the momentous nature of the radical re-design the welfare state has undergone over the past two decades. A similar reinvention has occurred across numerous policy fields and has affected most social services. Yet nowhere have the changes been more radical, and the results more pronounced, than in the realm of welfare-to- work, employment services privatization and jobseeker activation. All too often, social policy commentators are forced to lament that reforms were ‘oversold’ by policymakers, that things at the local level did not change all that much, or that major parts of the reform agenda of governments were effectively subverted by system inertia. Not in the case of employment services.
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