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Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2024

Available Open Access digitally under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Experts from across the globe review leading social policy scholarship in this new volume in the Social Policy Review series.

Specialists explore local and multi-level trends in social policy including government responses to the cost-of-living crisis in the UK and decentralisation in primary health care in Thailand. They also review policy responses to working age risks in England, Italy and Australia, as well as policy developments and transformations such as social protection in Japan and Australia and immigration resettlement schemes in the UK.

Published in association with the Social Policy Association, the latest book in this respected series will be essential reading for students and academics in social policy, social welfare and related disciplines.

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Cultural and Political Trajectories
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East Asian societies and welfare systems are rapidly changing, creating an increasing need for research that can help to establish sustainable and legitimate welfare systems.

This original volume considers welfare attitudes in East Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, Singapore and Taiwan, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Proposing new methods and approaches to analysing cross-national variations in welfare attitudes, it decentralises dominant European based concepts and measurements and takes approaches that are sensitive to cultural and political trajectories and the impact of colonialism and gender.

This book explores the influence of contextual and individual factors, such as family roles and values, on citizens’ welfare attitudes. It also studies social legitimacy and social bonds to understand how to design and implement sustainable welfare policies.

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Why do top-down reforms to public services so often over-promise and under-deliver?

Using five concepts from psychology, economics and organisational sociology, Thomas Elston addresses this pressing question of good governance.

Focusing on the practical challenge of how to undertake better public management reforms, he questions the assumption that failure typically occurs because of poor reform implementation. Instead, he shows how reforms are often badly designed from the outset, being fashion-led, more focused more on fixing errors than exploiting opportunities and ignoring implicit costs of change.

This concise, practically-orientated work employs diverse examples to propose ways to improve the design of public sector reform programmes – and the services that citizens receive.

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Theory, Context and Practice
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In dealing with individual problems and difficulties, critical social work (CSW) is an emancipatory practice which seeks to address social injustice. In this book the author draws on almost 40 years’ experience as a social worker to consider CSW in core areas of practice with children and families.

Fully updated to cover the impact of austerity, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis, this accessible textbook is essential reading for students, educators and practitioners of child and family social work. It features:

• clearly signposted ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ sections;

• over 10 case studies including those drawn from the author’s experience;

• end of chapter ‘Key points’ summaries;

• further reading suggestions.

With expanded coverage of race and intersectionality, contextual safeguarding and critical child protection, the book champions the development of resilient social workers working towards a more just and equal world.

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Demonstrating the relevance of theory to political and policy debates and practice, this lively and accessible second edition helps students to grasp the real-life implications of social policy theory.

It considers contemporary shifts in welfare ideologies in the context of global austerity and the UK Coalition and Conservative governments (2010 onwards). With a new chapter focusing on critical debates about disability, sexuality and the environment, this textbook also includes fresh reflections on migration, social security conditionality, resilience, social justice and human rights.

Key features include:

• real-life examples from UK and international politics and policy to explain and illuminate the significance of social policy theory;

• key questions for student reflection and engagement;

• and bulleted chapter summaries and annotated further readings at the end of every chapter.

This new edition is a dynamic, engaging and valuable introduction to the key theoretical perspectives and concepts deployed in social policy.

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Understanding the Parenting Journeys and Support Needs of Young Fathers
Authors: and

Around 1 in 10 children born in the UK are fathered by men under the age of 25. These men are often from socially disadvantaged areas and frequently overlooked in both research and practice settings. Using findings from a major Economic and Social Research Council study, supplemented with additional data, the authors focus on the transitions of the young men into early parenthood and their unfolding lives thereafter.

As negative popular and media discourse around young fathers begins to shift, policy makers, practitioners, researchers and students will find future policy and practice directions designed to nurture the potential of these young men and their children.

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Tension and Discrimination in 21st Century Britain
Editors: and

Recognising diverse groups within society is a vital part of policy research and analysis, yet few texts have drawn together the breadth of experiences of welfare provision from a diverse group of citizens.

This book fills this gap, by exploring how diverse citizens experience welfare provision. It aims to promote debate about the importance of social divisions in society and to address the gaps in research, in relation to race, ethnicity, disability, gender and LGBTQ+.

It comes at a crucial time as we emerge out of a decade of austerity, a global pandemic and Brexit, where issues of diversity have been at the forefront of debates, and renews the call for analysis within social policy, particularly on issues of diversity in the 21st century context.

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Integrated Conceptualisation and Measurement of Economic Poverty
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This book offers a holistic view of Julio Boltvinik’s vast and important work on poverty conceptualisation and measurement. While well known to Spanish-speaking audiences, this volume brings these works together to offer access for English-speaking audiences for the first time.

The book provides the foundations, application and empirical examples of Boltvinik’s Integrated Poverty Measurement Method, which could potentially transform poverty narratives globally as it has done in Mexico.

Deeply critical of available poverty approaches, it provides a challenging and radically new way of conceiving and measuring poverty, offering the only multidimensional poverty measurement method which includes time-poverty and allows all Aggregate Poverty Measures to be fully calculated.

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Lived Experiences of Benefit Sanctions, Work and Welfare
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Recent welfare reforms, based on austerity narratives and a gender-neutral rationale, have failed to recognise the ways in which women and men experience the different demands and rewards of paid employment and unpaid care.

This book draws on a wealth of qualitative longitudinal evidence to cast light on women’s lived experiences of welfare and work. Giving voice to social security recipients, this book uncovers the hidden gendered bias of conditional welfare reforms to challenge dominant political discourses, policy design and practice norms.

It combines and develops three interdisciplinary perspectives – feminist analysis, lived experience and street-level bureaucracy – to offer a new understanding of British welfare reform policies and practice.

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Breaking the Vicious Cycles Perpetuating Disadvantage

ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND license.

The perpetuation of poverty across generations damages lives. It weakens social cohesion and the economy and undermines environmental sustainability. This book examines why poverty is carried on from one generation to the next and what needs to be done to eradicate it.

This book draws on a wide variety of sources and academic disciplines (social sciences, economics, law, community development, neuroscience and developmental psychology) along with the lived experience of people in poverty. Challenging the myths and prejudices about poverty that hinder progress, it calls for a comprehensive approach based on ensuring real equality of opportunity for all. It stresses the need to intervene early to combat child poverty and break the vicious cycles that perpetuate poverty and disadvantage.

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