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Bureaucracy, citizenship, governmentality: Towards a re-evaluation of New Labour

Barratt, E (2014) 'Bureaucracy, citizenship, governmentality: Towards a re-evaluation of New Labour.' ephemera theory & politics in organization, 14 (2). 263 - 280. ISSN 1473-2866

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Abstract

Drawing inspiration from the genre of studies of governmentality, this note explores developments in the organisation of the British Civil Service during the years of New Labour. Arguments and debates over the limits of bureaucratic knowledge and communitarian arguments borrowed from the American context served to encourage modes of citizen participation in respect of the work of the central bureaucracy. Bureaucrats during these years were encouraged to assume the role of agents of what we term here ?participatory citizenship?, seeking to bring citizens into a new relationship with bureaucracy. Bureaucrats were enjoined to attend to the voice of the citizen in new ways. Arguments and prescriptions for change ultimately led to innovations in the technologies of rule to be effected by bureaucrats, designed to ?activate? citizens and to bring them into a new and more participatory relationship to the central State. Exploring these developments, we highlight their costs, risks as well as certain suppressed political possibilities. Conceived as a preliminary investigation and certainly making no claim to historical completeness, the aim here is to begin to re-evaluate the experience of New Labour.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bureaucracy; citizenship; govern mentality; New Labour
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 10:43
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:30
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15429

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