BEYOND CITIZENS AND CONSUMERS? PUBLICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE REFORM
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The article explores some of the issues associated with the rise of the consumer as a focal point for public service reform. In the first section, there are considered the ways in which the consumer has been counterposed to the citizen in recent political developments, while suggesting that this opposition may conceal other important processes and identities. In the second section, a brief history of the image of the consumer in public service reform in the UK is sketched, particularly associated with the New Labour governments of 1997-2010. Following that, a research project conducted among users, workers and managers in three public services in the UK is drawn. It focuses on how users identify themselves and their relationships to public services.
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