Neoliberalism asserts that it is applicable in domains beyond private sector business. With regard to social work it has three main propositions that it sees as the key to social work’s transformation and three processes that correspond to them: markets are efficient and effective (marketisation); individuals should be responsible for themselves and run their own lives (consumerisation); and the private sector can supply management knowledge and techniques to the public and voluntary sectors (managerialisation). The extent to which these processes have taken hold and the precise combinations in which they appear vary but they constitute a direction of travel in many countries. In this article each process is considered in turn with regard to its impact on social work.
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