Neoliberalisternes paradis - Velfærdens forbandelse

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Thomas Overholt Hansen
  • Stine Borup Christensen
  • Mikkel Dahlqvist
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
In this thesis we wish to contest the growing neoliberal reform policy, which has dominated the public sectors in the Western world since the nineteen eighties and is recognized by the generic term ‘New public management’ (NPM). The intention of this thesis is not only to contest the project on paper, but also to make it act as a active “stroke” in the present and forthcoming combating of the NPM project. The thesis is therefore brought about as an action research project, in which we make a collaborative alliance with the Danish political party, Det Radikale Venstre. (Translation: The Radical Left). The purpose of this alliance is to attempt to equip the political Party’s administration of communicative counterattack against the increasing NPM tendency. An attempt carried out over two stages. The first stage is partly carried out by analyzing and bringing to light the inherent contradictions that characterizes the NPM project is and the more or less conscious discursive cover up the contradictions is concealed by, and partly by analyzing Det Radikale Venstres previous counterattack attempts on the NPM project. In this essential part of the thesis we show a long line of contradictions between what the NPM projects is said to be and what it really is. In addition, we make it clear, that the proponents of the project have made use of ideological attacks in their attempt to preserve the strategy, which covers the project’s contradictory nature. In that context, we among other things introduce, how NPM reforms is interpreted as non bureaucratizing reforms, even though they led to even more bureaucracy. We also present how the NPM project is interpreted as welfare-raising, although it really is the opposite Next we look in to Det Radikale Venstre´s political and communicative base in relation to the war against the neoliberal NPM-tendency. We illustrate among other things, that the party’s communication sometimes clashes with the ideals which they emphasizes as being controlling the party’s policy. In the analysis we draw special attention towards the political party communicative and political capabilities and illustrate how the party’s one-sided target group orientation towards the public sector employees can be seen as an impediment to the party’s ability of succeeding in the communicative war against the NPM project. The Danish welfare model enjoys widespread support among the wide crowd of electors and therefore we, among other things, criticize the political party of being less than ambitious in its aim by only drawing an appeal to the employees of the public sector. The second stage of the thesis is partly carried out by preparing and presenting a counterstrategy, and partly by preparing and presenting a series of concrete proposals, as to how the Det Radikale Venstre can execute a specific counterattack on the NPM project. At this stage of the thesis we commit ourselves to letting the concrete proposals be a product of; (1) the ideal of involving the public and provide learning through interactive and social media, and (2) the satirical genre, which through caricaturing makes it possible to point out the instrumental nature of the NPM project to the public. Finally the thesis contains a reflection and two additional analyses attached as appendix to the thesis.
Publication date2009
Number of pages238
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 17979734