This book explores two shifts in the paradigms of governance in Western bureaucracies. They are the widespread use of privatisation, private firms and market methods to run core public services, and the conscious attempt to transform the role of citizenship from ideals of entitlement and security to notions of mutual obligation, selectivity and risk. Considine examines the most important service of the modern welfare state - unemployment assistance - to explain and theorise the nature of these radical changes. He undertakes research in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, four countries which have been among the boldest reformers within the OECD, yet each adopting different models. Each case is a break from the standards of responsible democracy and legal-rational bureaucracy, with at least one government opting for a commercial paradigm based on targets and economic incentives and another opting for a model based on network governance, co-production and trust.
"American scholars and practitioners will find a wealth of useful, often unsettling, insights in this well-conceived comparative study." Social Service Review