The book starts by looking back at the expansion of the social democratic state in post–war Britain, and at the subsequent challenge to this from neo–liberal ideas and policies. In light of this history, the contributors then discuss new doctrines for managing the state, new conceptions of the state, and new ideas for organising the delivery of public services. They address current models such as the enabling state, as well as topical issues such as public private partnerships. All the contributors are impatient with outmoded state versus market arguments, and strive to go beyond traditional thinking in order to rethink the contemporary role of the state.
2. The Rationale of the Minimal State: Norman Barry.
3. Neo–liberalism and the Theory of the State: From Wohlfahrtsstaat to Rechtsstaat: Raymond Plant.
4. Re–Stating Politics, Re–Politicising the State: Neo–liberalism, Economic Imperatives and the Rise of the Competition State: Colin Hay.
5. False Friend: The State and the Public Demain: David Marquand.
6. Leviathan Life: David Walker.
7. The State and the Market: John Kay.
8. Creating the Public Good: Charles Leadbeater.
9. The State and Innovations in Economic Governance: Colin Crouch.
10. New Localism, Progressive Politics and Democracy: Gerry Stoker.
11. Back to the Centre? Rebuilding the State: B. Guy Peters.
12. Reclaiming The Public Through the People: Hilary Wainwright.
Tony Wright is MP for Cannock Chase and Chairman of the Public Administration Committee in the House of Commons. He is joint editor of The Political Quarterly and his books include The British Political Process (1999) and Socialisms: Old and New (1996).
Andrew Gamble and Tony Wright have also co–edited The New Social Democracy.