Valuation in Welfare Markets

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Valuation in Welfare Markets

The Rule Books, Whiteboards and Swivel Chairs of Care Choice Reform

Linköping Studies in Arts and Science No. 645

Linköping Studies in Arts and Science No. 645, 2015 Adressinformation

Linköpings universitet 581 83 Linköping


Linus Johansson Krafve

Valuation in W

elfare Markets

Linus Johansson Krafve

What counts as valuable in a market reform of welfare? How are such decisions taken, and how are clashes between values handled in governance practice? This thesis examines the practices of managing a care choice system in a Swedish county council. In particular, it pays attention to how purchaser officials work with a significant governance tool, the so-called rule book for care centres. The rule book figures as a key device in care choice reform, and provides a way into studying how values are enacted in the reform process.

This thesis claims that the detailed practices whereby purchaser officials handle values via the rule book is a form of ‘politics by other means’. Such practices give values specific meanings and significance. One value in particular comes to dominate the reform process: that of competitive neutrality. Although competitive neutrality is supposed to be a means through which other values, such as quality and availability, are realized, it is translated into an end in its own right. As a consequence, other values and perceptions about good care become demoted in what counts as valuable in care choice reform.




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