In our opinion, this analysis of state service provision by Ivan Illich is as relevant today as it was in 1970. It succinctly captures the ways in which both the state and the market fail to meet the needs of people and communities. It also uncovers the core argument of this book that there is a ‘third way’ which represents a meaningful alternative to the state and the market (contemporary versions of the ‘third way’ seem to be little different from conventional social democratic calls for a mixed economy). Our aim in this book is to make a case for this shift away from a concentration on state and/or market provision towards the development of community self-help which will enable individuals and communities to meet their own needs and desires.
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