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Publics, Politics and Power

Publics, Politics and Power
Remaking the Public in Public Services

February 2009 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Publicness appears to be in decline or retreat in the face of markets, consumerism and individualism. Yet questions of public participation, public governance and the reform of public services are at the top of the political agenda in many countries.

Publics, Politics and Power offers an innovative analysis of the changing fortunes of publicness. 

Key Features and Benefits

  • Explores the emergence of new forms, sites and practices of publicness and the implications for public services
  • Examines the remaking of the public in the context of new formations of the nation, where issues of migration, diversity and faith challenge traditional forms of solidarity and citizenship
  • Traces the emergence of hybrid organizational forms and new strategies for governing publics and public services
  • Assesses some of the ways in which the public domain is being recast around notions of civil society, community, and populist participatory politics.

Chapters include vignettes illustrating the book's core concepts, making this a useful teaching resource and valuable reading for students of public management, public and social policy, sociology and cultural studies and for those working in public services.

Janet Newman is a Professor of Social Policy at the Open University, and Director of the Publics Research Programme within the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance.  John Clarke is a Professor of Social Policy at the Open University.  His research has centered on conflicts over the future of welfare states, public services and citizenship in the UK and elsewhere.

Contesting publicness
decline and proliferation

Re-assembling the nation
difference, diversity and 'the people'

Displacing the public
recruiting 'ordinary people'

Making (up) markets
discourses, devices and agents

Blurring boundaries
private authority and public governance

Valuing publics? The dilemmas of public work
Engaging publics
participation and power

Remaking citizens
transformation and activation

a politics of the public?


This is an essential collection for PA students and scholars. It provides critical analysis of the state of publicness in current public administration and state operations. The book is well organised and easy to read for any level of readers.

November 5, 2015

Very relevant when studying the evolution of hybrid organisational forms like housing associations and for governing key public services

Mr Peter Shanks
School of the Built Environment, Ulster University
February 24, 2015

level too high for 1st year Bachelor students

Maikel Waardenburg
Management , Utrecht University of Prof Education
April 10, 2014

This book formulates powerful arguments which are pertinent to the work of all us within the public services sectors.

Mr Luke Champion
Education , Manchester Metropolitan University
June 24, 2013

The book will be invaluable invarious modules that will be delivered on the Public Sercvices Foundation Degree. This provides good reading for the students, and will be a good aide memoire in their studies. The institution will be ordering this book for the library so the learners will be able to have access to it.

Mr Andrew O'Brien
Public Servies, Peterborough Regional College
May 2, 2012

Excellent analysis of the roles and relationships between the public, government and external agencies. helpful in an analysis of the policy process, governance and thinking about the boundaries and limitations of the state.

Dr Sarah Ayres
School for Policy Studies, Bristol University
January 31, 2012

This is another excellent text from Clarke and Newman which traces and makes sense of the changing relations between government and citizens. It will be particularly helpful for 3rd year undergradute and postgraduate students.

Dr Mike Dolton
Dept of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
December 16, 2010

I like this book very much and like most of their work, it is a very comprehensive and indepth account of the ways in which the new labour government has reconfigured welfare services

Miss Vickie Cooper
Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University
October 22, 2010

I will certainly use some of the ideas and concepts in the book to underpin some of the current thinking in leadership and management and I will refer students to it as supplemental reading. it will certainly be used when we discuss the issue of goverance

This will be used in areas on the leadership module- where nurses at MSc and PG Dip level critically examine the health sevrice and try to position the voice of nursing in the current debate.

Ms Catherine Clune mulvaney
Please select your department, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
September 19, 2010

Insightful analysis of the factors behind the sweeping changes to the provision of public services in England

Mr Ray Snaith
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
September 15, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One PDF

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