New Perspectives on Public Services: Place and Technology

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Despite their immense importance for many aspects of public service management, the specific features of places have been largely ignored in recent public management literature. Technologies have received much more attention, but mainly within the specific field of e-government. In this book Christopher Pollitt puts together a powerful and engagingly-written case for paying much more attention both to place and to technological change, and the interactions between them. The book synthesizes theories and concepts from a range of disciplines and focuses them on the many ways in which public services shape places, and places shape public services. Using extensive and varied original empirical material, it examines the role that new technologies have played in these interactions. This theme is traced through internationally comparative studies of central government agencies, hospitals, population registration, and the police. It raises questions about the longer term effects of the increasingly 'virtual' relations between the citizen and government and opens up a new perspective on the organization of our most basic and vital public services.