Violent bureaucracy: a critical analysis of the British public employment service

REDMAN, Jamie and FLETCHER, Del (2021). Violent bureaucracy: a critical analysis of the British public employment service. Critical Social Policy, 42 (2), 306-326.

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Between 2010–2015, the Coalition’s pursuit of a radical austerity programme saw Britain’s Jobcentre Plus experience some of the most punitive reforms and budget cuts in its history. Focusing on the outcomes of these reforms, a growing body of research has found that claiming processes became a more ‘institutionally violent’ and injurious experience for out-of-work benefit claimants. The present article draws upon ideas, developed by Bauman (1989), which focus on the processes that facilitate ‘institutional violence’. We use this framework to analyse ten interviews with front-line workers and managers in public/contractor employment services. In doing so, we expose an array of policy tools and hidden managerial methods used during the Coalition administration which encouraged front-line staff to deliver services in ways that led to a range of harmful outcomes for benefit claimants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1605 Policy and Administration; 1606 Political Science; 1607 Social Work; Political Science & Public Administration
Identification Number:
Page Range: 306-326
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2021 13:29
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2022 14:45

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