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Subversive Citizens: Power, Agency and Resistance in Public Services
     

Subversive Citizens: Power, Agency and Resistance in Public Services

by Marian Barnes (Editor), David Prior (Editor)
 

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Many of the recent reforms in public services in the UK have been driven by the image of the 'responsible citizen' - the service user who does not only have rights to receive services but also has responsibilities for the delivery of policy outcomes. In this way, citizens' everyday conduct is shaped by governmental action, yet there is much evidence that both front

Overview

Many of the recent reforms in public services in the UK have been driven by the image of the 'responsible citizen' - the service user who does not only have rights to receive services but also has responsibilities for the delivery of policy outcomes. In this way, citizens' everyday conduct is shaped by governmental action, yet there is much evidence that both front-line staff in public services and the people who use them can sometimes act in ways that modify, disrupt or negate intended policy outcomes. "Subversive citizens" presents a highly original examination of how official policy objectives can be 'subverted' through the actions of staff and users. It discusses the role of public policy in the creation of 'good citizenship', such as making appropriate choices about what to eat and how much to save, to being an active participant in the local community. It also examines how the roles of service delivery staff have changed substantially, and how theories of 'power' and 'agency' are useful in analysing the engagement between public policies (and those employed to deliver them) and the citizens at whom they are targeted.The idea of subversive citizenship is explored through theoretical and empirical analyses by a range of prominent social researchers and will be of interest to students of social policy, sociology, criminology, politics and related disciplines, as well as policy makers involved in public services.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This edited collection makes an outstanding contribution to the debate in a provocative, compelling and original way. It is rare indeed for an edited collection to have the conceptual coherence and sense of lively dialogue on display across its chapters. This is a must read for policy makers and practitioners, social science researchers and students, and, of course, potentially subversive citizens. Professor Gordon Hughes, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

This is an exciting and sustained interrogation of the social relations of 'responsible' welfare at the point of delivery. It transposes and transforms Lipsky's notion of 'the street level bureaucrat' by exploring agency, counter-agency and subversion within contemporary welfare governance. A must-read. Fiona Williams, Professor of Social Policy, University of Leeds

Mayo's testimonial in reviewsHughes has also written a quote for Securing Respect

This timely book is essential reading, offering highly original and critical insights into the policy process in its contemporary context. Marjorie Mayo, Professor of Community Development, Goldsmith's College, University of London

...this book forms a welcome addition to the current literature. Maurice Specht in Critical Policy Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847422071
Publisher:
Policy Press at the Univ of Bristol
Publication date:
07/29/2009
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
15.60(w) x 23.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Marian Barnes, School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Brighton and David Prior, Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham

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