The Open UniversitySkip to content

Citizen-consumers and public service reform: At the limits of neo-liberalism?

Clarke, John (2007). Citizen-consumers and public service reform: At the limits of neo-liberalism? Policy Futures in Education, 5(2) pp. 239–248.

Full text available as:
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (149kB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article addresses the question: what is not neoliberal? It explores the problem of treating neoliberalism's universalising ambitions as having come true and argues that this obscures both the uneven and partial impact of neoliberalism and the forms of political cultural work that are needed to make it come true. Focussing on one quintessential neoliberal development - the transformation of citizens into consumers - the article uses evidence from a recent study of public service reform in the United Kingdomn to suggest that beoliberal subjects have not (yet) materialised in this specific context. It considers how New Labour and neoliberal discourses 'tell the time' of other social imaginaries, attempting to residualise them as leftovers from earlier ways of thinking.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2007 Symposium Journals
ISSN: 1478-2103
Keywords: citizens; consumers; public service reform; New Labour; neoliberalism; subjects; time;
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 18126
Depositing User: John Clarke
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2009 13:05
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 14:13
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU