Article in Journal ()
Williamson B (2014) Knowing public services: Cross-sector intermediaries and algorithmic governance in public sector reform, Public Policy and Administration, 29 (4), pp. 292-312.
Discourses of public sector reform in the UK have been shaped in recent years by the participation of new kinds of hybrid cross-sector intermediaries such as think tanks, social enterprises and other third sector organisations. This article provides a documentary analysis of Demos, NESTA and the Innovation Unit as intermediary organisations in public sector reform, exploring their promotion of modes of digital governance and their mobilisation of new software technologies as models for new kinds of governing practices. These intermediary organisations are generating a model of knowing public services that operates through collecting and analysing big data, consisting of personal information and behavioural data on individual service users, in order to co-produce personalised services. Their objective is a new style of political governance based on human-computer interaction and machine learning techniques in which citizens are to be governed as co-producers of personalised services interacting with the algorithms of database software.
big data; co-production; governance; intermediaries; personalisation; policy labs; public service reform; think tanks
Public Policy and Administration: Volume 29, Issue 4