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New Players Enter the Game: Effects of Marketization of Social Policies

GPS, Vol. 4 No. 1, (2008)

This paper sheds some light on a change of the landscape of social
politics which hitherto has gone unnoticed in current debate: the
representation of consumer interests by consumer political actors
in social politics. The growing trend towards the introduction and
strengthening of market mechanisms in the welfare sector has been
accompanied on the one hand by social policies that resemble
consumer policy insofar, as they intervene into market relations in
favour of consumers.1 On the other hand, the changing role of
citizens and thus their changing interests may lead to activities of
both governmental and non-governmental actors dedicated to
consumer policy in the field of social policy. It is the latter
assumption that will be the focus of this article.

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