Needed services is no longer the fault of the state

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needed services is no longer the fault of the state but rather the failure of the individual to transact effectively in the market. Especially in the case of consumer vouchers, citizens are expected to express their dis- satisfaction through exit rather than voice (Hirschman 1970). Those with personal resources are more likely to exit than to remain, leaving behind the highly marginalized, who are least likely to voice their pro- test. Consequently, vulnerable citizens are not only unlikely to see im- provement in the quality of services but may even witness further de- terioration. As Somers (2008, 89) puts it, “People who have nothing to offer or exchange in the way of useful labor or personal assets—the poor, the very young, the infirm, the severely disabled—have no rights because they have no worth; they become rightless and excluded.” Second, privatization creates an infrastructure of private organizations that mediate the citizen’s relationship with the state. As a result, social rights become dependent on the market behavior of private service providers. Citizens find it difficult to exercise their rights because these are channeled through nonprofit and for-profit organizations that act as agents of government; social rights are contingent on citizens’ de- sirability as consumers. Their needs and services are subject to a calculus of efficiency and profitability. In their study of case managers employed by private providers of welfare-to-work services, Sanford Schram and colleagues (2010, 747) find that “market pressures imposed on imple- menting organizations rain down on the case manager from above, and it is the case manager who, in turn, must work to secure market com- pliance from the client.” Workers in these organizations use their dis- cretion to determine eligibility for entitled services and to discriminate between desirable and undesirable clients (Alexander 1999). Desirable clients add to the profitability of the organization; processing and treat- ing them requires fewer resources, and they score well on the outcome measures set by government (Forder 1997). Third, under privatization, citizens’ awareness of the relationship be- tween the benefits they receive and the state’s obligation to provide them is obscured by their more direct interactions with the intervening
308 Social Service Review private sector. Because they are so distanced from public officials, they have limited awareness of who is responsible for services. If dissatisfied with services, they are likely to misidentify the nonprofit provider as a government agency (Van Slyke and Roch 2004) and, thus, are not likely to comprehend the chain of accountability that runs from the state via the nonprofits to them. The Paradox of Advocacy and Mobilization When social rights are threatened, the role of civil society associations to advocate for them, especially at the national level, becomes partic- ularly critical. Paradoxically, all indications suggest that these associa-

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