The new citizen in public services: directions and tensions fields

Clarke, John and Newman, Janet (2008). The new citizen in public services: directions and tensions fields. Politica - Tidsskrift for Politisk Videnskab, 40(3) pp. 334–348.



This article examines the tensions and related dilemmas which emerge as part of governance strategies that change the relationship between citizens and public welfare services. This includes both participation through free choice and citizen participation in networks. The first time of participation is closely linked to New Public Management and is specifically characterized by an interplay between network and hierarchy. The article explores the term and implementation of “consumer citizens” and its unintended aspects of such a process. Moreover, the article analyzes other initiatives, which have been developed as part of the reform of public services, especially the increasingly significant emphasis on public participation. The article suggests that the co-existence of different forms of governance requires a critical perspective, because such co-existence often leads to dilemmas that may be difficult to solve.

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