This is the first ever book to analyse outsourcing — contracting out public services to private business interests. It is an unacknowledged revolution in the British economy, and it has happened quietly, but it is creating powerful new corporate interests, transforming the organisation of government at all levels, and is simultaneously enriching a new business elite and creating numerous fiascos in the delivery of public services. What links the brutal treatment of asylum-seeking detainees, the disciplining of welfare benefit claimants, the profits effortlessly earned by the privatised rail companies, and the fiasco of the management of security at the 2012 Olympics? In a word: outsourcing. This book, by the renowned research team at the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change in Manchester, is the first to combine ‘follow the money’ research with accessibility for the engaged citizen, and the first to balance critique with practical suggestions for policy reform.