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Explore our diverse range of digital textbooks designed for course adoption and recommended reading at universities and colleges. We publish over 450 textbooks across the social sciences, and an annual subscription to digital textbooks is possible via BUP Digital.

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Books: Textbooks

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Author: Hartley Dean

This second edition of a widely respected textbook is one of the few resources available to provide an overview of human need, as a key concept in the social sciences. Taking an approach encompassing both global North and South, this accessible and engaging book models existing practical and theoretical approaches to human need while also proposing a radical alternative.

Incorporating crucial current debates and illustrations, the author explores:

  • distinctions between different types and levels of need;

  • how different approaches are reflected in different sorts of policy goals;

  • debates about the relationship between needs, rights and welfare;

  • contested thinking about needs in relation to caring, disadvantage and humanity.

Fully revised and updated, this new edition pays due regard to the shifting nature of welfare ideologies and welfare regimes. Offering essential insights for students of social policy, it will also be of interest to other social science disciplines, policy makers and political activists.

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Editor: Martin Powell

As the state withdraws from welfare provision, the mixed economy of welfare – involving private, voluntary and informal sectors – has become ever more important. This second edition of Powell’s acclaimed textbook on the subject brings together a wealth of respected contributors. New features of this revised edition include:

• An updated perspective on the mixed economy of welfare (MEW) and social division of welfare (SDW) in the context of UK Coalition and Conservative governments

• A conceptual framework that links the MEW and SDW with debates on topics of major current interest such as ‘Open Public Services’, ‘Big Society’, Any Qualified Provider’, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and ‘Public Private Partnerships’ (PPP)

Containing helpful features such as summaries, questions for discussion, further reading suggestions and electronic resources, this will be a valuable introductory resource for students of social policy, social welfare and social work at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

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An international introduction to participatory welfare

Social policy is often constructed and implemented by people who have little experience of its impact as a service user, but there has been a growing interest in greater public, patient and service user involvement in social policy as both political activity and academic discipline.

Social Policy First Hand is the first comprehensive international social policy text from a participatory perspective and presents a new service user-led social policy that addresses the current challenges in welfare provision.

A companion volume to Peter Beresford’s bestselling All our welfare, it introduces the voices of different groups of service users, starting from their lived experience. With an impressive list of contributors, this important volume fills a gap in looking at social policy using participatory and inclusive approaches and the use of experiential knowledge in its construction. It will challenge traditional state and market-led approaches to welfare.

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Editors: Jane Millar and Roy Sainsbury

The political and economic landscape of UK social security provision has changed significantly since the 2008 financial crisis. This fully revised, restructured and updated 3rd edition of a go-to text book covers all the key policy changes and their implications since the elections of 2010 and 2015.

With contributions from leading academics in the field this book critically examines the design, entitlement, delivery and impact of current welfare provision. The first half of the book examines social security across the lifecycle from Child Benefit to retirement pensions. The second half focuses on key issues in policy and practice including new topics such as the realities of life on benefits in an era of austerity, and the pros and cons of Universal Basic Income.

• Framework supports teachers and students, encouraging analytical thinking of issues and providing pointers to related sources

• Authoritative and evidence-based arguments

• Clear section and chapter summaries, overviews, questions for discussion, website resources and a bibliography

• Includes tables, charts and text boxes for clarity, interest and appeal

This book is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Social Policy taking modules on Social Security Policy, Poverty and Inequality, Income Support and Welfare Reform, as well as Social Work students and those on other Social Science degree programmes.

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Governance and service provision in the UK

As the system of governance and delivery of social welfare in the UK radically changes, this important new book argues that the extent of this change is such that it could be considered a fundamental transformation or even a revolution. It shows how a new public governance perspective has replaced the dominance of new public management, reflecting the increasingly plural and fragmented nature of public policy implementation. Drawing on examples across a range of policy areas it assesses how changes in social policy and governance interact in the delivery of the main areas of social policy and social welfare. The book will be essential reading for researches, students and policy makers.

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Collective Action for the Common Good
Author: Pete Alcock

What is welfare? Why is it a key part of the ‘common good’ for all? And how should we go about providing it?

Pete Alcock, a well-respected expert, explains the challenges that collective welfare faces, and explores the complexities involved in delivering it, including debates about who benefits from welfare and how and where it is delivered. His primary focus is on the UK, including the problems of poverty and inequality, and how recent political and economic changes have undermined public investment; but he also draws on international examples from Europe and other OECD countries, such as the impact of private health care in the USA.

Why we need welfare is a call for new forms of collective action to meet welfare needs in the 21st century. It offers a fresh perspective on the key issues involved, and is a great introduction to this important and topical debate.

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Author: Gillian Pascall

The relationship between gender and welfare states is of key importance in understanding welfare states and gender equality and inequality. Western welfare states of the post-war era were built on assumptions about gender difference: they treated men as breadwinners and women as carers. Now governments are committed in principle to gender equality. But how far have they come from male breadwinner assumptions to gender equality assumptions? How much do gender differences continue in UK social policy and social practice?

The book analyses the male breadwinner model in terms of power, employment, care, time and income, providing a framework for chapters which ask about policies and practices for gender equality in each of these. This new approach to analysis of gender equality in social welfare contextualises national policies and debates within comparative theoretical analysis and data, making the volume interesting to a wide audience.

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Editors: Gerry Mooney and Gill Scott

Social justice and social policy in Scotland offers a critical engagement with the state of social policy in one of the devolved nations of the UK, a decade after the introduction of devolution.

Promoting greater social justice has been held up as a key vision of successive Scottish administrations since devolution began. It is argued throughout this important book that the analysis of Scottish social policy must therefore be located in wider debates around social injustice as well as about how the devolution process affects the making, implementation and impact of social policy.

Social justice and social policy in Scotland focuses on a diverse range of topics and issues, including income inequalities, work and welfare, criminal justice, housing, education, health and poverty, each reflecting the themes of social inequality and social justice.

This book will be essential reading for academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners as well as students of social policy and of society in Scotland and other devolved nations.

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An introduction to benefits in Britain
Author: Paul Spicker

How social security works is an introduction to the much-misunderstood system of benefits in Britain. The book is an accessible, broadly based and sometimes controversial text which can help readers to make sense of the system in practice. It explains the guiding principles, outlines the social context, considers the development and political dimensions of benefits, and reviews how the system operates now. There are detailed discussions of the types of benefit, and the contingencies covered by the benefits system.

Paul Spicker examines whether the system offers value for money, how it could be simplified and how it can be improved. The book will be useful to students on undergraduate and professional courses, but beyond that it will appeal to policy makers, practitioners and a broader general readership.

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