Public Services after Austerity: Zombies, Suez or Collaboration?

Griffiths, Simon and Kippin, Henry. 2017. Public Services after Austerity: Zombies, Suez or Collaboration? Political quarterly, 88(3), pp. 417-424. ISSN 0032-3179 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Public services—in the UK and elsewhere—are under considerable pressure, not just from austerity, but also from a variety of social, demographic and technological changes (in effect ‘austerity plus’). In this context, three broad options are open to policy‐makers: continue with tried‐and‐tested approaches while spending less money, which in the UK means a reliance on ‘New Public Management’ (NPM); withdraw completely from certain public services; or develop new approaches to public administration. We argue that all of these approaches have been attempted in recent years, but it is the final option that is most interesting and potentially the most beneficial. In this article, we examine experiments with these new approaches in responding to ‘austerity plus’. In particular, we examine various attempts at ‘collaboration’ in public services and discuss the risks associated with them. We conclude by setting out the extent to which policy‐makers have moved beyond NPM and suggesting some of the benefits that this could bring.

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8 May 2017Published Online

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04 Oct 2018 13:43

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29 Apr 2020 16:53

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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