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To fully capitalise on consultants we must recognise that the state is dependent on their work. Images: photos_of_money

Upon election in 2010, the coalition cut public sector spending on consultancy by 40 per cent—from £2.5bn to £1.5bn. Yet this has been offset by a 35 per cent rise in consultancy revenues from local government and other state bodies. Despite the coalition’s attempts, then, the public sector is still big business for consultancy. But what is management consultancy? And what can its history tell us about why governments have and…

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