//On the program of the 33rd St Malo congress

On the program of the 33rd St Malo congress

Market economy and New Public Management in the social field: Impacts and alternatives

Faced with changes in our practices linked to a growing role for the commercial sector and managerial logic in the field of social action, we have chosen to address during this conference the theme of the impact of “New public management”. »On the social field, the evolution of services and the possibilities of alternatives.

Why did we choose this theme?

During the various exchanges that we were able to have, in particular during the last CIF conferences, we were able to observe that professionals in the social field were subject in many countries to increased constraints where the question of the relationship with the person, a priority. until then, has gradually been replaced by managerial concerns. This trend is accompanied by an arsenal of procedures and protocols whose objective is to guarantee the best service to a user invited to give his consent and his informed opinion.

This evolution is wanted by the New Public Management which underlies European social policies. This was set up in the early 2000s, drawing inspiration from the experiences carried out in Anglo-Saxon countries in the early 1980s, a period corresponding to the decrease or even the withdrawal of state funding. In the social field, the NPM wants to free social action from an ideology that could be considered paternalistic or even charitable; it places “the user” at the center of a social system and organizes “services” provided in the best possible way and at the best cost. The objective then becomes the measure of the efficiency of the service provided. This general orientation has gradually imposed itself, and today we can see that the approach to social questions and more precisely, the methods of meeting with people called, depending on the case, “client, user, or patient”. finds profoundly modified.

It is also in Great Britain, the country where the NPM was initiated, that the film was shot which brilliantly illustrates this evolution: “Me Daniel’Blake”. of this conference where we will question the ideological foundations of what appears in the social field as a democratic evolution, but which at the same time produces a fragmentation of the public and a wear and tear of professionals.

In the light of developments observed in other countries, we will question the evolution of the social sector and the possibilities of alternatives in a context where the NPM has imposed itself as obvious.