Social services policy and delivery in Australia : centre-periphery mixes

Brown, Kerry A. & Keast, Robyn L. (2005) Social services policy and delivery in Australia : centre-periphery mixes. Policy and Politics, 33(3), pp. 505-518.

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The development of social services policy and the delivery of those attendant services have come to occupy a core role for modern governments. The modes of policy development and service delivery and their coordination have shifted between centralised models operated by decision-making elites and a peripheral model in which government divests some level of authority and responsibility for the development and implementation of social services policy to community based actors and organisations. Changing policy stances bring these models and their associated coordination principles into dominance at different points in history and importantly, problematise social services policy making and delivery through the continued existence of residual aspects of these multiple approaches.

The Howard Government’s current social policy draws on aspects of the periphery modes of social organisation, policy development and service delivery. However the continued reliance on central regulating and co-ordinating processes has led to a blurring of the boundaries of responsibility for policy formulation and co-ordinated execution and delivery of services in this critical area. It is argued that irrespective of the dominant domain, government, by virtue of its central role to ensure social stability, should retain some responsibility for policy development and oversight through more vertical, centralised coordination modes but in a way that combines with horizontal, decentralised relational approaches to ensure participation and engagement.

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9 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 4826
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Social Policy, Government, Coordination
DOI: 10.1332/0305573054325774
ISSN: 0305 5736
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Policy (160510)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Policy Press
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 30 Oct 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:11

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