‘Hollowing out’ the local state: Compulsory competitive tendering and the restructuring of British public sector services

PATTERSON, Alan and PINCH, P L (1995). ‘Hollowing out’ the local state: Compulsory competitive tendering and the restructuring of British public sector services. Environment and planning A: Economy and space, 27 (9), 1437-1461.

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Official URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1068/a271437
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1068/a271437

Abstract

The process of compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) for the provision of local-government services has forced significant changes to the way in which such services have been provided, whether such services have been contracted out or remain in-house, and has spawned a considerable literature on the impact of these changes on the quality, reach, and cost of public services. The primary focus of this literature has been on service users (or ‘consumers’) and the local taxpayer. In this paper, however, we attempt an analysis of these changes in terms of their impact on the nature of work within public sector services. Empirical evidence of geographical and sectoral variations in the degree of success of the private sector in winning contracts is considered, and explanations for these variations are offered. In particular, the discussion focuses on variations in the form of work in different sectors and the treatment of workers in different places and in different types of services, through a study of the labour processes involved and a consideration of the diverse potential for different fractions of capital to benefit from the introduction of CCT. Last, the concept of ‘hollowing out’ is reworked in order to further assist the theorisation of employment and other contemporary changes in the local state.

Item Type: Article
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Natural and Build Environment
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1068/a271437
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 15:13
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 15:13
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22617

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