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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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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A Multi-agency Approach

Schools play a vital role in safeguarding children and young people, yet there has been little research into how schools identify and respond to child protection concerns, and their engagement with local authority children’s services.

This book highlights the findings of a major ESRC-funded study on the child protection role played by schools, their decision-making processes and involvement in inter-agency working. Crucial reading for academics, practitioners and managers in children’s social care and education, it evaluates the impact of recent policy developments, including the Academies and Free Schools programme, as well as the restructuring of local authority children’s services.

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Creating a Global Future
Author: Mark Henrickson

European and North American notions of helping - or managing - poor and marginalised people have deep roots in religious texts and traditions which continue to influence contemporary social policy and social work practice in ways which many do not realise.

Bringing together interdisciplinary scholarship, Mark Henrickson argues that it is essential to understand and critique social work’s origins in order to work out what to retain and what must change if we are to achieve the vision of a truly global profession.

Addressing current debates in international social work about social justice, professionalisation, and the legacy of colonisation, this thought-provoking book will allow practitioners and scholars to consider and create a global future for social work.

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A New Approach to Care

Deficiencies in old age care are some of the most pressing human rights concerns in mature welfare states.

This book radically challenges the ethics of viewing care as a tradeable commodity and introduces a novel framework for understanding and analysing social care through the concept of ailment. Providing examples from the British and Finnish welfare states, it demonstrates how ailment shapes societies from the micro to the macro level. Addressing the marketisation and financialisation of care, the authors bring to light increasing inequalities in care.

This book argues that ailment is part of human life and society, and therefore the politics of care should begin with a politics of ailment.

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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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Social work education and interventions with Black African families are frequently impaired because of structural discrimination, racism and the structuring priorities of neoliberalism.

Rooted in rich and fascinating empirical work with practitioners and educators, this urgent, scholarly and accessible book emphasises that ‘Black Lives Matter’. Intent on nurturing more progressive and pluralistic practices in pedagogy and practice, the book is a timely and significant contribution seeking to re-make social work approaches to issues of ‘race’, racism and social justice.

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Perspectives on Rights to Participation
Authors: Emma Bond and Andy Phippen

This much-needed volume fills an overlooked gap in adult safeguarding – the digital arena – in providing a comprehensive overview of policy and practice in supporting vulnerable adults online.

Providing an essential analysis illustrated by recent court rulings and case studies, the authors advocate for the effective support of adults with learning disabilities and/or mental capacity issues in their digital lives without compromising their privacy and participation rights.

The text balances a theoretical exploration of the tensions between participation and protection, legislation, human rights, professional biases and social wrongs. It encourages a critical approach in adopting both a practical and realistic understanding for policy makers, professionals and students in social work, law and adult social care.

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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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Rethinking What Motivates Public Actors
Author: Chris O’Leary

Chris O’Leary looks afresh at the reasons for prosocial work choices in the first substantive critique of Public Service Motivation (PSM).

With critical analysis of theoretical and empirical research to date, this book explores the pros and cons of PSM and interrogates the reasons why people choose to work in the public and third sectors. It proposes an alternative theory for the pursuit of service, rooted in rational choice theory, that shows public servants are expressly motivated to confirm their values and identity through their work.

For those involved in public policy, administration and management, this is a constructive and stimulating review of an important but often neglected aspect of the sector.

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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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