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Modernising the welfare stateThe Blair legacy$
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Martin Powell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420404

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420404.001.0001

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

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

(p.179) eleven Choice in public services: ‘no choice but to choose’
Modernising the welfare state

Catherine Needham

Policy Press

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

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