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Social Policy Review 26Analysis and debate in social policy, 2014$
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Kevin Farnsworth, Zoë Irving, and Menno Fenger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447315568

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447315568.001.0001

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Social Impact Bonds: Shifting the Boundaries of Citizenship

Social Impact Bonds: Shifting the Boundaries of Citizenship

(p.119) SEVEN Social Impact Bonds: Shifting the Boundaries of Citizenship
Social Policy Review 26

Stephen Sinclair

Neil McHugh

Leslie Huckfield

Michael Roy

Cam Donaldson

Policy Press

Chapter Seven focuses on efficiency of administration and the mixing of morals and mathematics in the context of the financialisation of everyday life. They examine the development and scope of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), a policy instrument designed to extend the role of private finance in welfare provision and delivery, following in the wake of previous efforts to outsource public services and expand the mechanisms for ‘payments by results’. As the authors demonstrate in the UK SIBs represent more than just an expansion of existing privatisation measures; they are part of the financialisation of service provision and delivery, bringing venture capital and the risk calculations and hedging of welfare outcomes to the financial market in an effort to shake up the assumed public sector inertia. As the authors discuss, the assumptions of risk, cost-saving attributes and the measurability of outcomes are all problematic in the financialised framework.

Keywords:   financialisation, welfare provision, Social Impact Bonds, private finance, privatisation

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