What matters is what works

The Third Way and the case of the Private Finance Initiative

in The Third Way and beyond

This chapter outlines the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), and highlights its political and ideological importance. It reviews research findings on the operation of the PFI in the health service. The chapter explores that there is little substance to the Government's claim that the PFI is on strictly pragmatic grounds the most effective way of renewing the capital infrastructure of the National Health Service (NHS). It also explores the reasons for its adoption and focuses on the character and contours of the Third Way as New Labour's operational code. To New Labour a defining feature of the Third Way is its pragmatism, its commitment to evidence-based policy-making: in the pithy precept so often reiterated, 'What matters is what works'. The Third Way prescribes for the State a major role in social life, but less as a direct provider than as purchaser and regulator.

The Third Way and beyond

Criticisms, futures, alternatives

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