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Focusing on the policy approaches of Conservative governments since 2015, this book examines key social policy areas including education, health, housing, employment, children and young people, and more.

Respected social policy researchers explore the degree to which the positions and policies of recent Conservative governments have differed from the previous Coalition government (2010–15). They consider the extent to which austerity has continued and the influence of other policy emphases, such as a ‘levelling up’ agenda. Reflecting on the rapid changes of Prime Minister, they compare the themes of the Cameron, May, Johnson, Truss and Sunak administrations, critically examine the impacts of the external shocks of Brexit and COVID-19, and the changing patterns of public expenditure.

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Over the past decade, the UK has experienced major policy and policy making change. This text examines this shifting political and policy landscape while also highlighting the features of UK politics that have endured.

Written by Paul Cairney and Sean Kippin, leading voices in UK public policy and politics, the book combines a focus on policy making theories and concepts with the exploration of key themes and events in UK politics including:

  • developing social policy in a post-pandemic world;

  • governing post-Brexit;

  • the centrality of environmental policy.

The book equips students with a robust and up-to-date understanding of UK public policy and enables them to locate this within a broader theoretical framework.

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Social Inequality in the UK after Austerity, Brexit and COVID-19

Inequality is an ever-present danger in our society. This important book addresses the crucial nexus between the lived experience of inequality and how it shapes political responses.

With contributors from the UK and Continental Europe, the book compiles case studies with theoretically informed discussions of the relationship between affective polarisation, social inequality and the fall-out from Brexit and COVID-19. Using a broad concept of social inequality, the book incorporates aspects of economy and society, language and emotion culture as well as interviews and film in historical and transnational perspective.

The contributors offer a powerful examination of the ways in which the politics of the UK and the lived experiences of its residents have been reframed in the first decades of the 21st century.

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From Strategy to Decision

Between 2021 and 2031, the UK government is set to spend over £230 billion on its military. Who decides how to use these funds, and how can we be sure that the UK’s armed forces can meet the threats of tomorrow?

This book provides the answers to these crucial questions. Concentrating on decisions taken below the political level, it uncovers the factors that underpin the translation of strategic direction into military capability. In a series of interviews, over 30 top admirals, generals and air marshals give their own views on the procurement and maintenance of the nation’s current and future military capability. Their unrivalled professional knowledge and experience affords a fascinating insight into the higher management of national defence.

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Building Bridges, Not Barriers
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How many questions could you answer in a pub quiz about British values?

Designed to ensure new migrants have accepted British values and integrated, the UK’s citizenship test is often portrayed as a bad pub quiz with answers few citizens know. With the launch of a new post-Brexit immigration system, this is a critical time to change the test.

Thom Brooks draws on first-hand experience of taking the test, and interviews with key figures including past Home Secretaries, to expose the test as ineffective and a barrier to citizenship. This accessible guide offers recommendations for transforming the citizenship test into a ‘bridge to citizenship’ which fosters greater inclusion and integration.

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The word ‘refugee’ is both evocative and contested; it means different things to different people. For lawyers, the main legal reference point is the UN Refugee Convention of 1951.

This concise and engaging book follows the structure of the Convention to explore international refugee law. Including an introduction to the historical and legal context, Colin Yeo draws on his experience as an immigration barrister to explain the present-day legal framework for global refugee protection. Chapters consider:

  • well-founded fear;

  • persecution;

  • the loss of refugee status and exclusion;

  • the rights of refugees;

  • and state responses to refugee claims.

The book includes studies of key legal cases, reviews the successes and failures of the Convention and looks ahead to the future, including the impact of climate change and the Global Compact on Refugees.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists.

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In recent years, the United Kingdom's Home Office has started using automated systems to make immigration decisions. These systems promise faster, more accurate, and cheaper decision-making, but in practice they have exposed people to distress, disruption, and even deportation.

This book identifies a pattern of risky experimentation with automated systems in the Home Office. It analyses three recent case studies including: a voice recognition system used to detect fraud in English-language testing; an algorithm for identifying ‘risky’ visa applications; and automated decision-making in the EU Settlement Scheme.

The book argues that a precautionary approach is essential to ensure that society benefits from government automation without exposing individuals to unacceptable risks.

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Trade Unions and Gender Inequality in the British Film and Television Industries
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Frances C. Galt explores the role of trade unions and women’s activism in the British film and television industries in this important contribution to debates around gender inequality.

The book traces the influence of the union for technicians and other behind-the-camera workers and examines the relationship between gender and class in the labour movement. Drawing on previously unseen archival material and oral history interviews with activists, it casts new light on women’s experiences of union participation and feminism over nine decades. As concerns about the gender pay gap, women’s rights and harassment continue, it assesses historical progress and points the way to further change in film and TV.

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Representation and Marginalization in British Politics
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In the century since women were first eligible to stand and vote in British general elections, they have relied on news media to represent their political perspectives in the public realm.

This book provides a systematic analysis of electoral coverage by charting how women candidates, voters, politicians' spouses, and party leaders have been portrayed in newspapers since 1918.

The result is a fascinating account of both continuity and change in the position of women in British politics. The book demonstrates that for women to be effectively represented in the political domain, they must also be effectively represented in the public discussion of politics that takes place in the media.

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EU Spending and Well-Being
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Throughout the history of European integration, economic wealth has increased to the benefit of citizens in the European Union (EU). However, inequalities in well-being persist within and between Europe’s regions, undermining the legitimacy of the EU in the eyes of citizens. This book investigates how the EU can use its regional funding programmes in ways that increase citizen well-being.

The book shows that while EU social investments improve labour market performance in rich regions, they exacerbate income inequality in poor regions. Based on this insight, the book presents a theory on the conditions under which EU funding will enhance well-being. Crucially, it argues the case for enhancing the inclusivity of EU growth, which yields the promise of a more legitimate and stronger union.

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