Skip to content The Open University

Faculty of Social Sciences

Staff Profile

Prof Janet Newman

Prof Janet Newman

Emeritus Professor

Social Policy and Criminology

Research interests

My research centres on critical analyses of governance, policy and politics.

A particular interest is on the interface between activist movements and changing governance regimes (Working the spaces of power: activism, neoliberalism and gendered labour(Bloomsbury, 2012) and journal outputs in Social Politics, Critical Policy Studiesand Local Economy.

I am currently exploring the ways in which ‘austerity’ governance is remaking both politics and culture. This has generated publications on the financial crisis (Journal of Education Policy,2010); on austerity politics (Critical Social Policy,2012); on neoliberalism (in Policy and Politics, 2011 and Urban Studies 2014);and enactments of governing under austerity (Policy and Politics,2013 and forthcoming book chapters).

A particular highlight was the 2014 invitation to contribute to the Kilburn Manifesto: ‘After Neoliberalism’, where John Clarke and I contributed a piece on future imaginings of the state.

Previous work explored the remaking of publics and publicness (2005 Inaugural Lecture; ESRC Seminar Series on Emergent Publics). Publications include the monograph Publics, Politics and Power: changing the public in public services (with J. Clarke: Sage 2009), the edited collection Rethinking the Public: innovations in research, theory and politics(with N. Mahony and C. Barnett: Policy Press 2010); and journal articles on public policy, public leadership and public management.

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Recent and forthcoming


2012 Working the Spaces of Power: activism, neoliberalism and gendered labour. Bloomsbury Academic.


2016 ‘Austerity and the politics of hope: contested narratives of political participation in Europe, Comparative European Politics.

2014 'Governing the present: activism, neoliberalism and the problem of power and consent', Critical Policy Studies 8, 2: 133-147.

2014 ‘States of Imagination’ (with John Clarke) Soundings 57, 1: 153-169.

2013 ‘Performing new worlds: policy, politics and creative labour in hard times’, Policy and Politics41, 4: 515-532.  

2013 ‘Spaces of Power: feminism, neoliberalism and gendered labour’, Social Politics20, 2: 200-221.

2013 'Landscapes of Antagonism: local governance, neoliberalism and austerity'. Urban Studies, 51, 15: 3290-3305.

2012 'Beyond the deliberative subject? Problems of theory, method and critique in the turn to emotion and affect', Critical Policy Studies, 6, 4: 465-79.

2012 'Making, contesting and governing the local: Women's labour and the local state'. Local Economy 27, 8: 846-858.

2012 'The Alchemy of Austerity' (with john Clarke) Critical Social Policy. 32, 3: 299-319.

Book chapters

2016 ‘The politics of expertise:  neoliberalism, governance and the practice of politics’, in Assembling Neoliberalism: expertise, practices, subjects, ed. Vaughan Higgins and Wendy Larner. (Chicago University Press).

2016 ‘Rationality, responsibility and rage: the contested politics of emotion governance, infor ‘Emotion States: governing with feeling in policymaking, practice and participation’, ed. E.Jupp, J.Pykett and F.Smith (Ashgate).

2016 ‘Border Work: Negotiating Shifting Regimes of Power’, Chapter 16 of Reimagining the Human Service Relationship, Ed. Gubrium, J, Andreassen,T. and Solvang, Per K. (Columbia University Press).

2016 ‘Re-gendering governance in times of austerity: dilemmas of feminist theory, politics and practice’ inMissing in action: gender, power and governance, ed, Hudson, C, Techtsoonian,, K. and Rönnblom,, M. (Routledge).

2015 ‘States of imagination’ (with John Clarke), in S. Hall, D. Massey and M. Rustin, eds, After neoliberalism? the Kiburn Manifesto.Lawrence and Wishart, 99-115.

2015 ‘The politics of deploying “community”’(with John Clarke),in Politics, Power and Community development, ed, Rosie Meade, Mae Shaw and Sarah Banks. (Policy Press).

2015 ‘Social Welfare’, in The Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Studies, ed, M, Bevir and R.A.W. Rhodes.Routledge.

 2014 ‘Performing new worlds’ in Ayres, S. ed Rethinking Policy and Politics: reflections on contemporary debates in policy studies. Bristol: Policy Press. 

2013 'But we didn't mean that': feminist projects, governmental appropriations and spaces of politics, in Roseneil, S ed. Beyond Citizenship? Feminism and the transformation of belonging.Palgrave.

Full publication list


2011 Participation, Responsibility and Choice: summoning the active citizen in western Europe(with E.Tonkens, ed). Amsterdam University Press.

2010 Rethinking the Public: innovations in research, theory and policy (with Nick Mahony and Clive Barnett, eds). Bristol, Policy Press.

2009 Publics, Politics and Power: changing the public of public services (with John Clarke) London, Sage.

2008 Social Justice: Welfare, Crime and Society(with N.Yeates, eds). Buckingham, Open University Press.

2007 Power, participation and political renewal: case studies in public participation(with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan). Bristol, Policy Press.

2007 Creating Citizen-Consumers: changing relationships and identifications(with J.Clarke and L.Westmarland). London, Sage.

2005 Remaking Governance: Peoples, Politics and the Public Sphere. Bristol, Policy Press.

2001 Modernising Governance: New Labour, Policy and Society. London, Sage.

1997 The Managerial State; power, politics and ideology in the remaking of socialwelfare (with J. Clarke). London, Sage.

1996 Shaping organisational cultures in local government. London, Pearson.

1995 Gender, culture and organisational change(with C. Itzin). London, Routledge.

Published journals

2011 'Public Leadership as Public-making', Public Money and Management31, 5: 315-322.

2011 'Boundary Troubles: working the academic-policy interface', Policy and Politics, 39, 4, October: 473-484.

2011 'Debate: neoliberalism and local governance: global contrasts and research priorities', Policy and Politics39, 3: 445-6.

2011 'The politics of publicness', in J.Pykett, ed, 'Interventions in the `geography of Libertarian Paternalism' Political Geography, published online 15 June 2011.

2011 'Managing in disorderly times', (with M, Noordegraaf) Public Management Review,13, 4: 513-538.

2010 'Towards a pedagogical state? Summoning the 'empowered' citizen' Citizenship Studies, vol 14, 6: 711-723.

2010 Summoning spectres: crises and their construction (with John Clarke). Journal of Education Policy, 25, 6: 709–715.

2008 'The antagonisms of choice: New Labour and the reform of public services' (with John Clarke). Social Policy and Society,7, 2: 243-254.

2008 'Remaking the citizen in public services: trajectories and tensions' (with John Clarke). Politica, 40 (3): 334-348.

2008 'Beyond Modernisation: social care and the transformation of welfare governance' (with C. Glendinning and M.Hughes) Journal of Social Policy37, 4.

2007 'Rethinking the public in troubled times: unsettling nation, state and the liberal public sphere' Public Policy and Administration, 22 (1) 55-75.

2007 'What's in a name? New labour's citizen consumers and the remaking of public services'. Cultural Studies21, 4-5: 738-757.

2007 'Democracy and the public realm: towards a progressive agenda?' (with N.Mahony), Soundings36: 56-66.

2007 'Consumers enter the political stage: the modernisation of health care in Britain and Germany' (with E.Kuhlmann) Journal of European Social Policy17: 99-111.

2006 'Discursive arenas: deliberation and the constitution of identity in participation at local level' (with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan) Social Movement Studies5, 3: 193-207.

2006 'More than a matter of choice? Consumerism and the modernisation of health care' (with E.Vidler) Social Policy Review 18.

2006 'A Politics of 'The Public', Soundings32: 162-176.

2006 'Modernisation and the Dynamics of Governance' Zeitschrift fur Sozialreform [Journal of Social Policy Research], 52: 2, Mai.

2006 'Discriminating consumers, responsible patients, empowered users' (with E.Vidler) Journal of Social Policy35, 2: 193-209.

2005 'Regendering Governance: perspectives on 'the social' in social policy', Zeitschrift fur Sozialreform [Journal of Social Policy Research], 51/2,221-240.

2005 'Constructing accountability: network governance and managerial agency', Public Policy and Administration. 19, 4: 17-33.

2005 'Network governance, transformational leadership and the micro politics of public service change'. Sociology, 39, 4: 717-734.

2005 'Beyond the New Public Management? Public services and the social investment state', Policy and Politics, 33,4: 657-74 (with B.McKee).

2004 'Central-local relations in an era of multi-level governance: the case of public participation policy in England' (with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan) Local Government Studies30, 2: 245-265.

2004 'Power, participation and political renewal; theoretical and empirical perspectives on public participation under New Labour' (with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan) Social Politics, 11 (2): 267-279.

2004 'Public participation and collaborative governance' (with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan) Journal of Social Policy,33 (2): 203-223.

2004 'The micro-politics of deliberation: case studies in public participation' (with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan) Contemporary Politics, 10 (2) 93-110.

2003 'Transforming the probation service: the 'what works' agenda, organisational change and professional identity' (with S. Nutley). Policy and Politics, 31 (4): 547-63.

2003 'Constituting 'the public' in public participation initiatives' (with M.Barnes and H.Sullivan) Public Administration. 81 (2):.275-295.

2002 'Changing governance, changing equality? New Labour and the modernisation of public services'. Public Money and Management22 (1): 7-14.

2002 'What counts is What Works? Constructing evaluations of market mechanisms'. Public Administration79 (1): 89-104.

Selected book chapters

2011 'Serving the public? Users, consumer and the limits of NPM', in Christensen, T. and Laegreid, P. eds, The Ashgate Research Companion to the New Public Management. Farnham, Ashgate: 349-360.

2010 'Delivering Choice and Administering Justice: Contested Logics of Public Service' (with John Clarke and Morag McDermont) in M. Adler (ed) Administrative Justice in Context. Oxford: Hart Publishing: 25-46. 2010.

2010 'Narrating subversion: assembling citizenship' (with John Clarke). In M.Barnes and D.Prior, eds, Subversive Citizens: agency and resistance in public policy. Policy Press: 67-82.

2009 'Elusive Publics' knowledge, power and public service reform', in Gewirtz, S et al Changing Teacher Professionalism. Routledge, 2009:43-53.

2009 'Re-evaluating knowledge, reframing problems: what works and the modernisation of adult social care', in H-U. Otto, A Polutta and H.Ziegler, eds, Evidence Based Practice: modernising the knowledge base of social work. Barbara Budrich, 61-76.

2009 'Can we decide together? Public participation and collaborative governance', in C.Leggewie and C.Sachesse, eds, Soziale Demokratie, Zivilgesellschaft und Burgertugenden. Frankfurt, Campus. 2008: 251-262.

2008 'Reluctant subjects: citizens, consumers and the reform of public services' (with John Clarke) in H.K.Hansen and D.Salskov-Iversen, eds, Critical perspectives on private authority in global politics. Palgrave-Macmillan, 110-127.

2007 'Governance as cultural practice: texts, talk and the struggle for meaning', in M.Bevir and F.Trentmann, eds, Governance, Consumers and Citizens: agency and resistance in contemporary politics. Palgrave Macmillan 49-68.

2004 'Modernising the state: a new style of governance?' in J. Lewis and R. Surrender, eds, Welfare State Change:Towards a Third Way? Oxford University Pres 2004: 69-88.

2004 'Bending bureaucracy: leadership and multi-level governance', in P. du Gay, ed, The Values of Bureacracy. Oxford University Press, 2004: 191-210.

2004 'Governing the modern world' (with J. Clarke) in D.Steinberg and R.Johnson, eds, Blairism and the War of Persuasion: Labour's Passive Revolution. Lawrence and Wishart 2004: 53-65.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Last updated: 4 December 2015