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Social Policy Review 32Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2020$
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James Rees, Marco Pomati, and Elke Heins

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447341666

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447341666.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

‘Everywhere and nowhere’: interventions and services under austerity

‘Everywhere and nowhere’: interventions and services under austerity

Chapter:
(p.271) 12 ‘Everywhere and nowhere’: interventions and services under austerity
Source:
Social Policy Review 32
Author(s):

Stephen Crossley

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447341666.003.0012

This chapter explains how austerity has led to an increasingly fragmented and disparate economy and geography of welfare. These changes have affected people's ability to access services, leaving some of them isolated and excluded from activities that they previously enjoyed. The chapter then questions the use of new information technology (IT) systems and the related expansion of cybernetic relations to register, administer, manage, and target some of the most vulnerable members of society. It argues that these virtual systems emerge as a way of dealing with cases that need physical and in-depth contact in the context of austerity budgets rather than a tested way of pooling information to save lives. This argument suggests that they can also be a way to exclude service users from decision-making about their entitlement and ultimately their lives, reconfiguring the power relations between the public and the state.

Keywords:   austerity, welfare, service access, information technology systems, cybernetic relations, vulnerable people, austerity budgets, service users, power relations

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