Social Policy and Society

Themed Section on Partnerships, Governance and Citizenship

New Labour's Partnerships: Comparing Conceptual Models with Existing Forms

Martin Powell a1 and Bernard Dowling a2
a1 Department of Applied Social Sciences, University of Stirling E-mail:
a2 National Primary Research and Development Centre, University of Manchester E-mail:

Article author query
powell m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dowling b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The establishment of partnerships has been a central feature of British social welfare policy since 1997 when the New Labour government came to power. Although the academic attention given to partnership working since then has grown considerably, there have been few attempts to link conceptual models of partnerships with existing forms. This paper addresses this gap and finds that, while there are links between actual and model partnerships, there is little evidence that actual partnerships have been designed or structured to meet their particular tasks.

(Published Online April 26 2006)