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The social face of the Regulatory StateReforming public services in Europe$
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Sandra Eckert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090318

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090318.001.0001

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Liberalising through the back door

Liberalising through the back door

postal reform in Britain

(p.115) 7 Liberalising through the back door
The social face of the Regulatory State

Sandra Eckert

Manchester University Press

Chapter seven studies postal reform in Britain, which constitutes an outlier in the context of the liberal market economy. A first section explains why the process towards liberalisation and privatisation in the postal sector has been lengthy and difficult, to the extent that change has ultimately been kicked off by European law. It is discussed how the independent regulatory agency played a key role in the reform process, giving the decisive impulse for full liberalisation ahead of European schedule. While union density is high, industrial relations in the postal sector were conflicting and difficult, very much in line with broader patterns in the liberal regime. The network of postal outlets has been transformed massively in recent years, while the universal service remained untouched.

Keywords:   liberal market economy (LME), postal service, public service, regulatory reform, social regulation

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