Critical Enquiry at the Intersection of Politics, Policy and Society
Edited by Emma Carmel
Chapter 7: Understanding the state–third sector relationship in public services delivery
This chapter contributes a governance analysis of the relationship between the state and third sector in the delivery of public services. It identifies the institution of a notional market and the increased use of competitive commissioning and contracting processes to govern the relationship between the state and third sector in public service delivery over the last two decades. It examines how this governance strategy has been negotiated in practice by third sector organisations (TSOs) and public sector commissioners in two local authorities. It focuses on TSOs providing adult social care services to older people in England. Adopting a governance analysis perspective, the chapter reconceptualises the state–third sector relationship in public service delivery. I argue that this relationship is constituted in the struggles between actors over the changed conditions of public service provision, and the chapter reveals the implications of those changed conditions for the actors involved.
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