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Personalising public services
Understanding the personalisation narrative

Catherine Needham
Paperback, 216 pages, 234 x 156 mm
Other formats available
27 Jul 2011


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North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

"Needham's policy narrative thesis is a welcome and persuasive critique of the manner in which policies are formed and implemented."
British Politics and Policy at LSE blog
"Catherine Needham's thoughtful and nuanced analysis of personalisation makes this essential reading for students of social policy. This accessible and scholarly book also makes a major contribution to the policy analysis literature."
Marian Barnes, University of Brighton
"Catherine Needham is one of the leading researchers into the personalisation agenda across diverse areas of the welfare state. This book is well researched, well written, accessible and highly topical - it's essential reading for anyone interesting in the reform of public services."
Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care, University of Birmingham

About This Book

Personalisation - the idea that public services should be tailored to the individual, with budgets devolved to the service user or frontline staff - is increasingly seen as the future of the welfare state. This book focuses on how personalisation evolved as a policy narrative and has mobilised such wide-ranging political support. It will be a valuable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in public policy and social policy and for researchers and practitioners working in related fields.

Author Biography

Catherine Needham is Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. She has written extensively on public service reform.


Personalisation as narrative
Paternalism, consumerism and personalisation
Personalised public services
Policy translation: how personalisation spreads
Commissioning personalised services
Personalising the front-line
Personalisation, citizenship and the state


Customers in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei must order from their local distributor

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