Authors John Clarke and Janet Newman present an original analysis of the creation of new state forms that critically examines the political forces that enabled "more and better management" to be presented as a solution to the problems of the welfare state in Britain. Examining the micro-politics of change within public services, the authors draw links among politics, policies, and organizational power to present an incisive and dynamic account of the restructuring of social welfare. Clarke and Newman expose the tensions and contradictions in the managerial state and trace the emergence of new dilemmas in the provision of public services. They show that these problems are connected to the recurring difficulties in defining the "the public" that receives these services. In particular they question whether the reinvention of the public as either a nation of consumers or a nation of communities can effectively address the implications of social diversity.
A cogent critique of the social, political, and organizational conflicts and instabilities that are embedded in new state forms, The Managerial State will be essential reading for students and academics in social policy, public policy, and public management. It will also be of interest to academics in sociology, politics, and organization studies.