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Consumerism Revisited: The Emergent Roles of New Electronic Intermediaries between Citizens and the Public Sector

Journal article
Authors Agneta Ranerup
Ulrika Josefsson
Published in Information Polity
Volume 8
Issue 3/4
Pages 167-180
ISSN 1570-1255
Publication year 2003
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 167-180
Language en
Keywords portaler, kvasimarknader, patientnätverk, skolval, demokrati
Subject categories Media and Communication Technology, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, Technology and social change


An important transformation of the welfare state of today is the marketisation reforms many times strengtening the role of citizens preferences in the choice of public services. Another important transformation is the new electronic interm iaries between citizens and the public sector that have emerged during the last few years. This paper focuses on intermediaries between citizens and the public sector when viewed in a quasi-market perspective. Our object of study are Swedish patients online communities and public portals for educational opportunities representing different forms of ownership. The aim of the paper is to problematize the capacities to act that citizens are provided with by means of the new electronic intermediaries. We argue that the forms of citizns influence induced by th marketisation reforms and the new electronic intermediaries provide capacities to act that previously only to a limited extent have been discussed in a systematic manner. In this paper the supplemnetary role of consumerist activities compared with e.g. representative and deliberative democracy is acknowledged.

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