Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Critical Activist Research across Ecuadorean Borders

Drawing from an activist research project spanning Loja, Santo Domingo, New York, New Jersey, and Barcelona, this book offers a feminist intersectional analysis of the impact of migration on health and well-being.

It assesses how social inequalities and migration and health policies, in Ecuador and destination countries, shape the experiences of migrants. The author also explores how individual and collective action challenges health, geopolitical, gender, sexual, ethnoracial, and economic disparities, and empowers communities.

This is a thorough analysis of interpersonal, institutional, and structural mechanisms of marginalization and resistance. It will inform policy and research for better responses to migration’s negative effects on health, and progress towards greater equality and social justice.

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Critical Perspectives on Work, Subjectivities and Struggles

The words ‘precarity’ and ‘precariousness’ are widely used when discussing work, social conditions and experiences. However, there is no consensus on their meaning or how best to use them to explore social changes.

This book shows how scholars have mapped out these notions, offering substantive analyses of issues such as the relationships between precariousness, debt, migration, health and workers’ mobilisations, and how these relationships have changed in the context of COVID-19.

Bringing together an international group of authors from diverse fields, this book offers a distinctive critical perspective on the processes of precarisation, focusing in particular on the European context.

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Author: Jonathan Wistow

In this challenging and original study, Wistow positions social policy within political economy and social contract debates.

Focusing on individual, intergenerational and societal outcomes related to health, place and social mobility in England, he draws on empirical evidence to show how the social contract produces longstanding, highly patterned and inequitable consequences in these areas. Globalisation and the political economy simultaneously contribute to the extent and nature of social problems and to social policy’s capacity to address them effectively.

Applying social contract theory, this book shows that society needs to take ownership of the outcomes it produces and critically interrogates the individualism inherent within the political economy.

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More Harm than Good?

More than a decade on from their conception, this book reflects on the consequences of income management policies in Australia and Zealand.

Drawing on a three-year study, it explores the lived experience of those for whom core welfare benefits and services are dependent on government conceptions of ‘responsible’ behaviour. It analyses whether officially claimed positive intentions and benefits of the schemes are outweighed by negative impacts that deepen the poverty and stigma of marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

This novel study considers the future of this form of welfare conditionality and addresses wider questions of fairness and social justice.

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Researching Poverty and Low-Income Family Life during the Pandemic

Epdf and ePUB available Open Access under CC BY NC ND licence.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone – but, for some, existing social inequalities were exacerbated, and this created a vital need for research.

Researchers found themselves operating in a new and difficult context; they needed to act quickly and think collectively to embark on new research despite the constraints of the pandemic. This book presents the collaborative process of 14 research projects working together during COVID-19. It documents their findings and explains how researchers in the voluntary sector and academia responded methodologically, practically, and ethically to researching poverty and everyday life for families on low incomes during the pandemic.

This book synthesises the challenges of researching during COVID-19 to improve future policy and practice.

Also see ‘A Year Like No Other: Family Life on a Low Income in COVID-19’ to find out more about the lived experiences of low-income families during the pandemic.

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A Hidden Deprivation
Author: Michael Drew

Michael Drew’s review of the causes and effects of food poverty in Ireland offers the first full-length study of this significant and protracted issue that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

The book brings together the complex picture emerging from interviews with users of food aid. Their pathways into and through food poverty are impacted by the policies and practices of government and employers with wide-ranging implications. The work explores the international landscape of food poverty and situates both experiences and responses in a comparative context. It considers how these results contribute to an understanding of the problem and what action should be taken.

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An Inequality of Power
Author: Maddy Power

Exploring why food aid exists and the deeper causes of food poverty, this book addresses neglected dimensions of traditional food aid and food poverty debates.

It argues that the food aid industry is infused with neoliberal governmentality and shows how food charity upholds Christian ideals and white privilege, maintaining inequalities of class, race, religion and gender. However, it also reveals a sector that is immensely varied, embodying both individualism and mutual aid.

Drawing upon lived experiences, it documents how food sharing amid poverty fosters solidarity and gives rise to alternative modes of food redistribution among communities. By harnessing these alternative ways of being, food aid and communities can be part of movements for economic and racial justice.

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The Politics of Everyday Life
Author: Eleanor Jupp

What kinds of care are being offered or withdrawn by the welfare state? What does this mean for the caring practices and interventions of local activists?

Shedding new light on austerity and neoliberal welfare reform in the UK, this vital book considers local action and activism within contexts of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting compelling case studies of local action, from protesting cuts to children’s services to local food provisioning and support for migrant women, this book makes visible often unseen practices of activism. It shows how the creativity and persistence of such local practices can be seen as enacting wider visions of how care should be provided by society.

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How Britain Enriched the Few and Failed the Poor: A 200-year History
Author: Stewart Lansley

The Richer, The Poorer charts the rollercoaster history of both rich and poor and the mechanisms that link wealth and impoverishment. This landmark book shows how, for 200 years, Britain’s most powerful elites have enriched themselves at the expense of surging inequality, mass poverty and weakened social resilience.

Stewart Lansley reveals how Britain’s model of ‘extractive capitalism’ – with a small elite securing an excessive slice of the economic cake – has created a two-century-long ‘high-inequality, high-poverty’ cycle, one broken for only a brief period after the Second World War. Why, he asks, are rich and poor citizens judged by very different standards? Why has social progress been so narrowly shared? With growing calls for a fairer post-COVID-19 society, what needs to be done to break Britain’s destructive poverty/inequality cycle?

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From anti-immigration agendas that criminalise vulnerable populations, to the punishment of the poor and the governance of parenting, this timely book explores how diverse fields of social policy intersect more deeply than ever with crime control and, in so doing, deploy troubling strategies.

The international context of this book is complemented by the inclusion of specific policy examples across the themes of work and welfare; borders and migration; family policy; homelessness and the reintegration of justice-involved persons.

This book incites the reader to consider how we can reclaim the best of the ‘social’ in social policy for the twenty-first century.

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