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Speeding up or reaching out? Efficiency and unmet need as policy priorities in Wales

Sayers, Dave, Harding, Jamie, Barchas-Lichtenstein, Jena, Coffey, Michael and Rock, Frances Eileen 2017. Speeding up or reaching out? Efficiency and unmet need as policy priorities in Wales. Journal of Language and Politics 16 (3) , pp. 388-411. 10.1075/jlp.15005.say

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Abstract

The Welsh Assembly, a devolved legislature in the UK, and its executive the Welsh Government, have a distinctly intensive commitment to equality – emphasising universality with weighty obligations on public services. This article uses the ‘discourse-historical approach’ (DHA) to critically review an eleven-year social service reform strategy (produced in 2007), and to weigh up the priorities of fiscal efficiency and universal equality. We refer to these competing priorities as ‘speeding up’ and ‘reaching out’, respectively. Our findings show an imbalance towards the former, largely sidelining the possible value of services to those currently under-served. The article discusses this mismatch in respect of the dominant policymaking framework of ‘New Public Management’ and its emphases on productivity, efficiency, and quantifiable accountability. We also show the value of DHA in analysing ‘fights for dominance’ – in this case between competing discourses within a flagship policy document.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISSN: 1569-2159
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 14 September 2016
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 16:36
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/94509

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