When: Tuesday 7 August at 5pm


Lecture Theatre B10

General Library (Building 109), University of Auckland

5 Princes Street


Over the last decade a key aspect of public policy reform, particularly in health and education, has been in not only providing greater service-user choice, but also in creating more opportunities for public and service user involvement in shaping services and setting public sector priorities. While individual service user choice has received significant attention far less work has focussed on public and service user involvement; the majority of this research has explored mechanisms to promote greater involvement, critiques of tokenistic mechanism and the benefits of involvement. This presentation instead explores the negative consequences of greater involvement in public sector priority setting, service shaping and individual choice. In part I consider the consequences of the implementation of involvement and choice mechanisms as part of increasingly shifting towards individual decision-making at the cost of collectivism and the extent to which this reinforces factional lobbying and interest representation and undermines public governance. This challenge is also reflected in the tensions between public involvement and service user involvement. One potential consequence is the increased scope for responsibilization that is promoted by these types of reforms. All of these negative consequences reflect power differentials between service-users, citizens and the politicians who make policy and professionals who deliver them.

Jonathan Tritter


Jonathan Tritter, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy Aston University

Jonathan is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston University. Before joining Aston (in October 2014) he was a Professorial Fellow in the Institute of Government and Public Management in Warwick Business School and led the University of Warwick MPA. Jonathan on secondment from Warwick Business School, established and, as Chief Executive, led the National NHS Centre for Involvement from 2006-2009 funded by the UK Department of Health. Jonathan’s main research interests relate to public participation and lay experience in policy making and service development particularly in relation to health and environmental policy. He supported the development of Public Health England’s public involvement strategy, and chaired the Public Health England Equality Forum. He is currently creating and delivering a patient and public involvement strategy for the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service and is developing metrics to measure the impact of patient and public involvement in research for the clinical research networks within the National Institute for Health Research. He currently works with colleagues in Norway, Sweden and Finland, is a visiting professor in the faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nord University, Norway and a Docent at the Sociology Department, Helsinki University, Finland. Jonathan has more than 90 publications including three co-authored books and has received funding from the ESRC, the Finnish Academy and a range of other public sources.  He is involved in a range of international and national research and development work that focuses particularly on the evidence base on the impact of patient and public involvement.


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