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Book Review

The Service State

The Service State

by Patrice Dutil, Cosmo Howard, John Langford, Jeffrey Roy

In recent years, governments in Canada and around the world have transformed their approach to delivering public services. Making use of private sector service innovations, interactive Internet technology, and partnerships with for-profit and not-for-profit agencies, governments have invested heavily in what is now called citizen-centred service.

While these changes create great opportunities, they also present significant challenges. This book probes the critical dimensions of service transformation from a variety of perspectives and answers some pressing questions: How can we make better decisions about service delivery? How should we engage users of government services? How should we measure service delivery performance? Can we create a service culture? How can we hold government’s service partners accountable? Can we better leverage the Internet and the emergence of Web 2.0? 

Approaching service delivery as not merely technical but inherently political and controversial, the authors look beyond the rhetoric of service transformation to see what has actually been achieved and what obstacles confront further improvements.

Patrice Dutil is associate professor of politics and public administration at Ryerson University. 

Cosmo Howard is associate professor of public administration at the University of Victoria. 

John Langford is professor of public administration at the University of Victoria. 

Jeffrey Roy is associate professor of public administration at Dalhousie University.

Table of Contents


Service Transformation in a Citizen-Centric World

Chapter One
Serving Whom: Customers, Clients or Citizens?

Chapter Two
Are We Satisfied and Is That the Point?

Chapter Three
Can We Create a Service Culture?

Chapter Four
Can We Meet the Governance Challenges?

Chapter Five
Can We Work Across Jurisdictional Boundaries?

Chapter Six
 Will Web 2.0 Change Everything?

Now the Real Work Begins…



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