Markets, Rights and Power in Australian Social Policy

Edited by Gabrielle Meagher and Susan Goodwin

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Format: paperback
388 pages
ISBN: 9781920899950

Publication: 30 Apr 2015
Series: Public and Social Policy Series
Publisher: Sydney University Press

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The provision of social services in Australia has changed dramatically in recent decades. Governments have expanded social provision without expanding the public sector by directly subsidising private provision, by contracting private agencies, both non-profit and for-profit, to deliver services, and through a number of other subsidies and vouchers.

Private actors receive public funds to deliver social services to citizens, raising a range of important questions about financial and democratic accountability: 'who benefits', 'who suffers' and 'who decides'. This book explores these developments through rich case studies of a diverse set of social policy domains. The case studies demonstrate a range of effects of marketisation, including the impact on the experience of consumer engagement with social service systems, on the distribution of social advantage and disadvantage, and on the democratic steering of social policy.

Gabrielle Meagher is a professor of social policy at Macquarie University.

Susan Goodwin is senior lecturer in policy studies at the University of Sydney.


Introduction: capturing marketisation in Australian social policy by Gabrielle Meagher and Susan Goodwin

1. The politics of market encroachment: policymaker rationales and voter responses by Gabrielle Meagher and Shaun Wilson
2. The marketisation of human services and the expansion of the not-for-profit sector by Susan Goodwin and Ruth Phillips
3. The devil’s in the detail: the hidden costs of private retirement incomes policy by Adam Stebbing
4. Social benefit bonds: financial markets inside the state by Angela Mitropoulos and Dick Bryan
5. ‘Which bank?’ Competition and community service obligations in the retail banking sector by Leanne Cutcher and Johann Loibl
6. Community aged care providers in a competitive environment: past, present and future by Bob Davidson
7. Home security: marketisation and the changing face of housing assistance in Australia by Lucy Groenhart and Nicole Gurran
8. Money and markets in Australia’s healthcare system by Fran Collyer, Kirsten Harley and Stephanie Short
9. Marketisation of immigrant skills assessment in Australia by Anna Boucher
10. Markets in education: ‘school of choice’ and family capital by Helen Proctor and Claire Aitchison
11. Conditional income transfers and choice in social services: just more conditions and more markets? by Terry Carney

About the contributors

Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 mm
388 pages
28 b&w tables and 3 b&w illustrations
Copyright: © 2015
ISBN: 9781920899950
Publication: 30 Apr 2015
Series: Public and Social Policy Series