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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Changing Relations in European Welfare States
Author: Remo Siza

In many European countries, processes of individualisation have contributed to transforming the middle class into a multitude of people, a sort of ‘middle mass’ with an unstable social identity and radical activism. The different ‘worlds’ of European welfare states seem progressively less able to manage this new kind of middle-class activism.

This book is an essential contribution to ongoing public and academic debates on the unpredictability of middle-class attitudes and on their changing relations with the welfare state. Identifying key trends in the literature, it considers the impact of recent welfare reforms on the needs and preferences of the middle class.

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Developing the new framework of ‘life-mix’, which considers the mixed patterns of caring and working in different periods of life, this book systematically explores the interplay of productivism, women, care and work in East Asia and Europe.

The book ranges across four key aspects of welfare – childcare, parental leave, employment support and pensions – to illustrate how policies affect women in various periods of their lives. Policy case studies from France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, show how welfare could support people’s caring and working lives. This book forms a prescient examination of how productivist thinking underpins regimes and impacts women’s welfare, care and work in both the East and West.

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Author: James Gregory

The growing demand for social housing is one of the most pressing public issues in Britain today, and this book analyses its role and value.

Anchored in a discussion of different approaches to the meaning and measurement of wellbeing, the author explores how these perspectives influence our views of the meaning, value and purpose of social housing in today’s welfare state. The closing arguments of the book suggest a more universalist approach to social housing, designed to meet the common needs of a wide range of households, with diverse socioeconomic characteristics, but all sharing the same equality of social status.

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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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Lived Experiences in the Irish Welfare Space
Author: Joe Whelan

Underpinned by the idea of the right to a ‘basic minimum’, welfare states are a major feature of many societies. However, the lived experiences of persons seeking and receiving welfare payments can often be overlooked.

This book seeks to remedy this omission by honouring lived experience as valuable, insightful and necessary. It draws on qualitative interviews with 19 people receiving various working age welfare payments in Ireland to explore stigma, social reciprocity and the notions of the deserving and undeserving poor, and to analyse welfare conditionality in the Irish context.

Breaking new ground, this book offers original research findings which contest and inform policy both within Ireland and beyond.

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Knowledge, Practice and Neoliberal Reform in Community Mental Health Services
Author: Rich Moth

In this timely analysis, Rich Moth assesses mental health services in a period of major change.

Based on extended fieldwork in community mental health services, he explores the many impacts of policy reform, marketisation and austerity on NHS mental health provision, and positions developments in the contexts of neoliberalism and an increased emphasis on individual responsibility.

Firmly rooted in the lived experiences of people using mental health services, and the social workers, nurses and psychiatrists delivering them, this is a stimulating perspective on understandings of and responses to mental distress within this organisational setting.

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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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Some Ideas for Better Social Services
Author: Paul Spicker

The British welfare state is traditionally understood to be comprised of five main services: health, housing, social security, education and the ‘personal social services’, such as social care and child protection.

In this book, Paul Spicker offers an original take on the role of the state in relation to these services, along with three other areas where institutional services have been developed: employment services, equalities and public services, such as roads, parks, libraries and rescue services.

Dismissing false and misleading narratives, this book profiles the real problems that need to be addressed and offers inspiration for a better path forward.

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This collection of original essays explores the myriad expressions of austerity since the 2008 financial crisis.

Case studies drawn from Canada, Australia and the European Union provide extensive comparative analysis of fiscal consolidation and the varied political responses against austerity. Contributions examine such themes as privatization, class mobilization and resistance, the crisis of liberal democracy and the rise of the far right.

The potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in shaping future austerity and alternatives is signalled. Given the rapidly shifting terrain, this comprehensive handbook provides important insights into a complex and fast-changing period of politics and policy.

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