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Policy & Politics vol 30 no 3 387 © The Policy Press, 2002 • ISSN 0305 5736 English Mental health service users/survivors are subject to both mental health and disability policies, yet there appears to be an ambiguity in the approach of disability policy and disability politics to them. Mental health policy, which has always had powers to restrict their rights, is now increasingly associating mental health service users/survivors with ‘dangerousness’ and focusing on them as a threat to ‘public safety’. Mental health service users’/survivors’ organisations

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The COVID-19 Response and its Controversies
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With Sweden traditionally hailed as a social and economic model, it is no wonder that the Swedish response to the COVID-19 pandemic raised a lot of questions – and eyebrows – around the world. This short book explores Sweden’s unique response to the global pandemic and the strong wave of controversies it triggered.

It helps to makes sense of the response by defining ‘a Swedish model’ that incorporates the country’s value system, underpinning its politics and administration in relation to, among other things, welfare, democracy, civil liberties and respect for expertise. The book also acts as a case study for understanding the moral and normative ways in which different national approaches to the pandemic have been compared.

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Policy & Politics vol 30 no 3 311 This special issue of Policy & Politics is con- cerned exclusively with articles documenting the changing nature of disability policy and its politicisation by disabled people and their organisations. These articles are culled from pres- entations at the Edinburgh Seminar on Disability Studies hosted by the Strathclyde Centre for Dis- ability Research, University of Glasgow, in June 2000. Taken together they are indicative of the growing interest in the general area of disability studies among social scientists in Britain and

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Key messages Humans are vigilant cooperators, motivated to help others, but attuned to cues of cheating. Vigilant cooperation drives popular intuitions about how welfare systems should work. This can be illustrated by examining changes to UK disability benefits. Appealing to popular intuitions does not necessarily lead to optimal policy making. Introduction The gap between theory and empirical evidence on the one hand, and the development and deployment of policy on the other, is perhaps more publicised now than ever. But rejection of expert

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609 Policy & Politics • vol 44 • no 4 • 609–26 • © Policy Press 2016 • #PPjnl @policy_politics Print ISSN 0305 5736 • Online ISSN 1470 8442 • http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/030557315X14381812909357 Constructing the need for retrenchment: disability benefits in the United States and Great Britain Zachary Morris, Zach.Morris@berkeley.edu University of California Berkeley, USA Why are some welfare state programmes more susceptible to retrenchment than others? This article examines why the major disability benefit programme in the United States has proved resistant to

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Researching disability rights in the UK, I heard the following story. A disabled man was transferring from his wheelchair into his car. A woman with a baby in a pushchair was passing and said, “I paid for that car”, referring to her taxes and the disability benefits she perceived he had claimed. He was speechless and only later thought how he should have responded: by pointing at the child and saying, “I paid for that baby”, referring to his taxes and her presumed Child Benefit claim. The pensions example is less relevant to the example of working

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benefits (for example, Child Benefit). They also reduced eligibility for contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to one year, though only for the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG), while the contributions-based ESA Support Group and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)/Personal Independence Payment (PIP) remain non-means tested (and this remains the same for ‘new-style’ ESA). Over the last 30 years or so, welfare conditionality – the ‘linking of welfare rights to “responsible” behaviour’ ( DwyerDwyer et al, no date ) – has been increasingly applied to

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Johnson and Nettle (2020) deliver a cogent argument about the acceptance of policy changes to disability allowance in the UK. Their principal claim is that suggestions of vulnerability to fraud, made by ministers and key politicians, triggered psychological dispositions to vigilant and conditional cooperation. These suggestions were made without any social or personal context thereby increasing precautionary vigilance. The authors make clear that policy based on these psychological dispositions is error prone because the proper domain for those mechanisms is

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The ideas underpinning our article, entitled ‘Fairness, generosity and conditionality in the welfare system: the case of UK disability benefits’, emerged from an interdisciplinary dialogue between policy and theory. In it, we sought to identify the thought processes behind the decisions that have been taken over the last decade or two in relation to the UK disability benefits system. Drawing from evolutionary psychology, we identified a potential key driver of increased scrutiny of applicants and recipients in an increasingly distant and individualised society

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In their target article, Johnson and Nettle (2020 [henceforth, JN]) evaluate recent reforms to the British system of disability benefits. These reforms ‘introduced much stronger focus on conditionality and assessment, aiming to reduce the cost of the benefit by identifying and removing “cheaters” or “undeserving” recipients from the system’ (JN: 1). JN characterise these reforms as a policy failure and attribute this failure to the attractiveness of certain folk-political intuitions generated by the human brain. On what grounds do JN conclude that the new

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