Download Creating Citizen-Consumers: Changing Publics and Changing by John H. Clarke, Janet E Newman, Nick Smith, Elizabeth PDF

By John H. Clarke, Janet E Newman, Nick Smith, Elizabeth Vidler, Louise Westmarland

Political, renowned and educational debates have swirled round the inspiration of citizen as a client of public prone, with public provider reform more and more geared in the direction of a shopper society. This leading edge e-book attracts on unique study with these humans within the front-line of the reforms -staff, managers and clients of public prone - to discover their responses to this flip to consumerism. concentrating on well-being, policing and social care, it vividly brings to lifestyles the contentious and afflicted relationships among govt, prone and clients. developing Citizen shoppers explores a variety of theoretical, political, coverage and perform matters that come up within the shift in the direction of consumerism.It attracts on fresh controversies approximately selection in public companies to carry them in keeping with the reports and expectancies of a client society. It bargains a clean and tough use of well known understandings of the relationships among humans and prone to argue for a version of publicness in keeping with interdependence, admire and partnership instead of selection.

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Governing the (modern) social involves the problem of how to manage diverse, differentiated and mobile populations. These populations are also ‘reflexive’ and becoming detached from previous forms of authority, identity, identification and attachment. One result with particular consequences for New Labour is that governing public services has become problematic because of the unstable and unpredictable combinations of popular doubt and desire (Clarke, 2005c). Substantial majorities continue to want public services and expect to see them improved, suggesting some limitations to the hegemonic claims of neo-liberalism.

In their celebration of ‘consumer society’ New Labour often draw attention to the consumer power of the private sector. This is a specific and unequally distributed form of power: it is literally ‘spending power’ in the form of money or credit. In the absence of money, it is not clear what other mode of power can ensure the realisation (or enforcement) of choice in public services. We will return to this question of power later. In our name? The citizen-consumer as governmental project Earlier in this chapter we highlighted the importance of understanding consumerism in the context of particular national formations, and posed the question as to whether New Labour simply represented a continuance of the generic New Right project of neo-liberal governance, or whether it has to be understood as a specific political and governmental project with its own inherent tensions and instabilities.

The market theorist doubts that officials, elected or appointed, are motivated to act for the public good. He assumes they are no less immune to self-interest than familiar market transactors. Elected politicians are likely to provide policies favourable to politically significant interest groups while officials are motivated by non-pecuniary forms of aggrandisement, such as expansions of the size of their bureaux. (Barry, 1991: 233) The binary split between consumer and producer interests was elaborated in relation to other figures in the New Right imaginary.

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