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- Author or Editor: Matthew Cooper x
Support for the unemployed in the UK has become increasingly conditional. This included enforced unpaid work, Mandatory Work Activity (MWA). This was sold as an innovative feature of ‘twenty-first century welfare’ by the 2010–15 government; however, it actually represented the restoration of older techniques of government. This article, compares MWA with enforced work regimes from the last days of the Poor Law in the 1930s. It highlights similarities between both regimes but also significant differences: in the 1930s different claimant groups were subject to different coercions, whereas in the MWA regime, claimants were treated as a homogenous category in need of discipline.