The modernisation of public services is one of the central challenges facing any government. There are enormous expectations surrounding the public service reform agenda but also real anxieties - there have been prominent public management failings in recent years and the record of delivery in key areas remains patchy. New Labour needs to go back to first principles and develop a new agenda for public service reform after ten years in power. The Government's relations with public service workers have often been tense and unconstructive. Lack of clarity about the future direction of change generates anxiety among public service professionals. Some key underlying conceptual and philosophical debates are also unresolved - such as the role of the state and the market in public service delivery, and the relative weight given to localism and equity. "Public Matters" addresses all of these issues - and more - through clear, incisive, empirically rigorous and theoretically informed analysis of the issues from leading experts in the field. It covers general themes (inequality, choice, funding etc.) and specific areas (education, work, environment etc.) with equal authority.