Outsourcing the state: new sources of elite power

Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Michael Moran, Karel Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The paper uses the example of public sector outsourcing to explore how elite power can be fallible. A contract between the state and private companies represents a complex interweaving of different kinds of power with uncertain outcomes: the experience of outsourcing in the UK and elsewhere is that it frequently goes wrong, with fiascos creating political embarrassment for states and financial problems for companies. Drawing on Deleuze and Guttari (1997) the paper explores how the contract is a political device that can be both tool and weapon but which has uncertain outcomes. In doing so, it makes a distinctive contribution by arguing that elite work is often about repair and managing the political or financial consequences of failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-101
Number of pages25
JournalTheory, Culture & Society: explorations in critical social science
Issue number5-6
Early online date28 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


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