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Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015

Published in association with the SPA, Social Policy Review 27 draws together international scholarship at the forefront of addressing concerns that emphasise both the breadth of social policy analysis, and the expanse of issues with which it is engaged.

Contributions to this edition focus on the effects of financialisation on services and care provision, policies to address deficiencies in housing and labour markets, and ways in which the study of social policy may need to develop to respond to its changing material concerns.

A themed section explores the place of comparative welfare modelling in the context of change over the last quarter of a century to consider where scholarship has been and where it might be going.

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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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The ‘Bedroom Tax’, Austerity and Housing Insecurity
Author: Kelly Bogue

The ‘Bedroom Tax’ has been one of the most contentious aspects of the UK government’s austerity politics. In this book, Kelly Bogue provides an authoritative assessment of its social impacts.

The Divisive State of Social Policy traces the links between housing resources and societal tensions by looking closely at one housing estate. The book explores issues related to Housing Benefit reform, including housing precarity, poverty and damage to social networks.

This is a vivid picture of the sharp end of austerity politics and welfare reform, and it gets to the heart of the meanings of home and community in the UK today.

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Housing and Home in the UK during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author: Becky Tunstall

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically exposed weaknesses in UK housing’s relationship to the labour market and welfare system. Inequalities in household type, home occupancy, housing cost and security have contributed to the unequal impact of the disease.

Comprehensively charting fast-moving and inter-linked policy developments, Becky Tunstall assesses the position of housing and home in public policy, health and in peoples’ lives, and documents the most immediate responses to the pandemic in one convenient resource for students, scholars and practitioners.

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Restructuring the welfare state
Editors: Hugh Bochel and Martin Powell

How did the UK Coalition Government’s policies differ from previous Conservative (or Labour) Government policies? How did the Liberal Democrats influence them? And what can this tell us about the likely policy direction of the Conservative government elected in May 2015?

Responding to the political and social policy changes made between 2010-15 this book considers the relationship between the two coalition parties to provide a critical assessment of how their policies affected the British welfare state, including the impact of ‘austerity’.

Looking beyond 2015, the contributors consider what the implications of these changes may be for social policy, both the challenges and opportunities, which will present themselves in the future.

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Policies and their Consequences since the Crisis

Social Policy in a Cold Climate offers a data-rich, evidence-based analysis of the impact Labour and coalition government policies have had on inequality and on the delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment in the wake of the greatest recession of our time.

The authors provide an authoritative and unflinching analysis of recent approaches to social policy and their outcomes following the financial crisis, with particular focus on poverty and inequality. Through a detailed look at spending, outputs and outcomes the book offers a unique appraisal of Labour and the coalition’s impact as well as an insightful assessment of future directions.

This volume offers a much-awaited follow-up to the critically acclaimed ‘A more equal society?’ (2005) and ‘Towards a more equal society?’ (2009).

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Legal Responses to COVID-19 – Justice and Social Responsibility
Editors: Dave Cowan and Ann Mumford

The effects of COVID-19 are visited disproportionately on the already disadvantaged.

This important text maps out ways in which those already disadvantaged have been affected by legal responses to COVID-19. Contributors tackle issues including virtual trials, adult social care, racism, tax and spending, education and more. They reflect on the implications of COVID-19 and express concerns with policy and practice developments and with the neutral version of the law and the economy which has taken root.

Drawing on diverse resources, this text offers an account of the damage caused by legal responses to the pandemic and demonstrates how the future response can be positive and productive.

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The politics of austerity has seen governments across Europe cut back on welfare provision. As the State retreats, this edited collection explores secular and faith-based grassroots social action in Germany and the United Kingdom that has evolved in response to changing economic policy and expanding needs, from basic items such as food to more complex means to move out of poverty.

Bringing together scholars from different disciplines and practitioners in several areas of social intervention, the book explores how the conceptualization and constitutive practices of citizenship and community are changing because of the retreat of the State and the challenge of meeting social and material needs, creating new opportunities for local activism.

The book provides new ways of thinking about social and political belonging and about the relations between individual, collective, and State responsibility.

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New perspectives on the ‘not-so-big society’

Drawing on a wide array of policy domains and events, this book provides an innovative account of social control and behaviourism within welfare systems and social policies, and the implications for disadvantaged groups.

This accessible collection reviews the controls, assumptions and persuasions applied to individuals and households and explores broader themes, including how ‘new behaviourism’ was consolidated during the New Labour and Cameron periods.

Social policy and social control offers timely engagements with key issues for researchers and policy makers, and is relevant for students in social policy, sociology, socio-legal studies, social work and social care, disability studies, human geography, politics and public policy, and gender, family and life course studies.

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Researching Poverty and Low-Income Family Life during the Pandemic

Epdf and ePUB available Open Access under CC BY NC ND licence.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone – but, for some, existing social inequalities were exacerbated, and this created a vital need for research.

Researchers found themselves operating in a new and difficult context; they needed to act quickly and think collectively to embark on new research despite the constraints of the pandemic. This book presents the collaborative process of 14 research projects working together during COVID-19. It documents their findings and explains how researchers in the voluntary sector and academia responded methodologically, practically, and ethically to researching poverty and everyday life for families on low incomes during the pandemic.

This book synthesises the challenges of researching during COVID-19 to improve future policy and practice.

Also see ‘A Year Like No Other: Family Life on a Low Income in COVID-19’ to find out more about the lived experiences of low-income families during the pandemic.

Open access