'The tale of Tony Blair and "government" is a complicated one which Janet Newman tells with insight and academic rigour….It deserves wide readership; it ought to pique the interest of all those concerned with the condition of British democracy' - David Walker, Analysis Editor and Leader Writer, The Guardian
The first comprehensive guide that explores the politics and policies of new Labour.
Has Labour's responses to the challenges and issues of the past 4 years, represented something radically different both in content and style from the Thatcher and Major years? Did it, in the language of this book, represent the emergence of a new form of governance in the UK?
This book offers:
Critical insights into Labour's impact on:
§ the relationship between government and citizens
§ public services and their users
§ the state and civil society
Interpretations of core themes in Labour's policy agenda:
§ the Third Way and social democracy
§ modernising government
§ public service reform
§ joined-up government and partnership
§ public participation and democratic renewal
§ remaking civil society
Drawing on cultural and institutional theory, the author brings a fresh approach to the study of governance, politics and policy. She traces Labour's attempt to reinstall 'the social' in public and social policy by examining its use of the discourses of democracy, citizenship, community, social inclusion, partnership and public participation. The book analyses the implications of these new, and not so new, discourses for the practice of making and delivering policy, and the patterns of equality and diversity that they invoke. It also highlights the way in which managers, professionals and staff are responding to the new agenda, and the tensions and dilemmas produced in the process of institutional change.