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  • Author or Editor: Martin Jones x
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In July 1995 the British government announced that the Employment Department was to be abolished and its functions redistributed throughout Whitehall. This article analyses the reasons for this abolition, presenting an argument that is intended to act as a stimulus for further research and policy debate. The article argues that the Employment Department's demise must be seen as part and parcel of a continued restructuring in state intervention from welfare to workfare. In a workfare state, social policy is subordinate to the needs of the market and the unemployed are forced to ‘work off’ benefits through compulsory participation on training schemes. This argument is developed through an historical analysis of British ‘trainingfare’ 1979-95, defined as hidden compulsion on training schemes in return for state benefit. Attention is also given to the June 1995 Jobseeker's Act which, it is contended, represents the introduction of a stricter ‘trainingfare’ regime and a radical restructuring of the welfare state. The article argues that within this new policy framework, there was no role for the Employment Department and the decision to abolish this section of Whitehall is interpreted from this perspective.

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Situated in the latest incarnation of the ‘localism’ turn, this chapter offers new theoretical insights into the rhetoric of decentralist discourses and the geographical complexities and contradictions of state-remaking realities on-the-ground. The chapter suggests that there is considerable mileage in the notion of ‘locality’ to advance critical social policy analysis and that its earlier jettisoning may have been premature. The chapter urges for a ‘return to locality’ to enlighten studies of social policy and advances its argument through three new readings of locality – locality as bounded territorial space, as an approach to comparative analysis, and to read spaces of flows for diverse policy fields. Taken together the chapter argues that these constitute the basis for the benefits in thinking about geography through the lens of new localities.

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This final UK case study describes the wide variety of community- and voluntary-run and owned transport services that are provided in the UK under the broad umbrella of community transport. Community transport is important in two ways. It is important because it shows that things can be done differently and better by the devolved voluntary sector. Community transport has pioneered the development of accessible transport for disabled people in the UK. It created the concept of demand-responsive transport. Second, community transpoty has made a huge difference to the lives of vast numbers of people who were previously prevented from playing a full part in society. The discussion cites a number of examples of community- and voluntary-based transport services that have been specifically introduced to fill a gap in mainstream transport services in deprived communities.

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This article builds on the emerging body of work concerned with local state restructuring under New Labour. Set within the context of labour market and welfare state restructuring, we suggest that there is an emerging consensus for a more robust and proactive involvement by local government. The article argues that initiatives for reactivating the local state have been deployed and tested in Denmark, with local government playing a central role in socioeconomic governance. The article unpacks what we term Denmark's ‘welfare-through-work’ model – a policy-making system built around negotiated and inclusive systems of regulation and governance – and then highlights some lessons for re-engaging local authorities in the UK.

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Recent events in world politics, from the implosion of Syria and the Ukraine to China's growing assertiveness in the East and South China Seas, have exposed the limitations of the dominant idealist and normativist paradigms in the study of international relations. In a world that is more Metternich than Rawls, it is necessary once again to examine statecraft from a realist perspective and to focus on the reasons of state that have informed its practice since the sixteenth century. Attention, here, is also focused on the rhetoric that informed political counsel and how a form of prudential reasoning shaped the art of diplomacy. In this context, casuistry, which involved applying principles of case law in particular circumstances, offered a mode of practical reasoning very different from contemporary normative approaches whose rhetoric seems increasingly divorced from the real practice of power and interest. Casuistry can be seen, as Stephen Toulmin has argued, as a form of situational or practical ethics. Casuistry, prudence and a particularist ethical practice might offer a more illuminating way of interpreting our increasingly complicated, interconnected but by no means integrated world.

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This chapter examines the development of Labour’s skills and training policies and the implementation of these in rural areas in Great Britain. It describes a case study of the ‘New Deal’ in rural Wales and shows that difficulties of delivering a workfare-based national programme in rural labour markets. The chapter explains the partnership frameworks governing the New Deal and highlights clients’ perception of the New Deal as a work-for-benefits or make-work scheme rather than a way to gain useful training and work experience that can lead to jobs that people want to do.

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This chapter draws attention to the political economy of the labour market. It provides a framework for a deeper, nuanced understanding of social processes and institutional relations in and through which employer engagement is framed. The chapter outlines an analytical framework that views labour markets within welfare regimes, historically formed around class (struggle) relations, where policies are contingent upon the balance of social forces and specific forms of political struggle. The framework is deployed to examine the key elements of the Danish system of employment and skills, drawing attention to first the ways in which high trade union (TU) densities and membership make them important actors. Second, it is shown how TUs’ active involvement in social dialogue and bargaining around employment policy occurs and relatedly, third, how a developed system of collective agreements in which unions negotiate changes and improvements to welfare and skills policies has been institutionalized. Last, the chapter draws out the importance of and roles played by local government (and the local welfare state) and devolved authorities in labour market policy.

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This chapter addresses the (re-)positioning of civil society within new structures of city region governance. Based on stakeholder mapping and semi-structured interviews with key actors operating across each city region, the chapter illustrates how this has created several significant tensions as well as opportunities for civil society actors. The chapter draws from four UK case study city regions and specifically looks at the ways city and devolution deals have impacted upon the positioning of civil society actors. Chapter 3 provides new insights into how civil society organisations have been seeking to respond to this overtly economic focus around the development of city regions that, to a certain extent, leaves such actors on the outside looking in. Beel et al’s new analysis shows how the institutional mechanisms associated with city regions are dominated by business interests and those that are already elected officials, thereby marginalising civil society. In this way the new governance arrangements are narrowing the interests of the local state towards more market-led interests and largely ignoring issues that are more community oriented and concerned with the social reproduction of the city region.

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The Politics of Representation

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

In recent years, the ‘city region’ has seen a renaissance as the de facto spatial centre of governance for economic and social development.

Rich in case study insights, this book provides a critique of city-region building and considers how governance restructuring shapes the political, economic, social and cultural geographies of devolution. Reviewing the Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Swansea Bay City Regions, Cardiff Capital Region and the North Wales Growth Deal, the authors address the tensions and opportunities for local elites and civil society actors.

Based on original empirical material, situated within cutting edge academic and policy debates, this book is a timely and lively engagement with the shifting geographies of economic and social development in Britain.

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Since 2010, the UK Government has sought to reshape the ways in which economic development takes place and although this shift in governmental delivery began under New Labour, there has been a continuing emphasis on developing the city-region scale to unlock economic growth. As noted in the previous chapter, it was much vaunted by the Coalition Government elected in 2010 (Deas, 2013), whereby they replaced the RDAs with LEPs and latterly LEPs morphed into CAs. These policies were subsequently continued by the Conservative administrations (Conservative Party, 2015) through a variety of locality-specific ‘devolution deals’. In this context, the rhetoric of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ as a flagship policy for delivering economic growth for the North of England (Lee, 2017) has sat alongside a severe austerity programme that has seen LA budgets cut significantly. This, therefore, raises difficult questions with regards to the ability of CAs and LAs to address the current and future needs of their populations (Etherington and Jones, 2016a). Finally, although the context of ‘Brexit’ and the forever changing leadership and ministerial portfolios of the Conservative Party means the future of the Northern Powerhouse remains uncertain, the political territorialisation and regionalisation (Harrison, 2014) of the city region has problematised the position of civil society actors working in their respective city regions and those working outside or on the periphery of city regions.

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