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  • Author or Editor: James Rees x
  • European Politics x
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‘Neighbourhood’ was a key political and administrative concept for the New Labour administration and was the spatial focus for a proliferation of initiatives in the early period. Yet since 2006, the appeal and use of ‘neighbourhood’ have waned as evidence of the impact of neighbourhood interventions over the last decade has emerged, along with active re-scaling of policy for regeneration and economic development. This article seeks to draw out why ‘neighbourhood’ was important to the New Labour project, to examine why and how this changed over the course of the New Labour administration, and to explore new agendas emerging in policy for sub-national governance.

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UK employment services are increasingly delivered by public, private and third sector organisations in quasi-markets that can be viewed as fields with actors (providers) competing for resources and position. The commissioning of the Work Programme produced an ‘episode of contention’ as fewer resources, shifting policy priorities and new contractual arrangements restructured relationships within the field. Drawing on empirical research the paper demonstrates how providers with different resources have navigated this period, employing strategies to manage challenger and incumbent roles and maintain their position in the field. The findings contribute to both field theory and our theoretical understanding of employment services.

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