The issues involved in poverty, inequality and social justice are many and varied, from basic access to education and healthcare, to the financial crisis and resulting austerity, and now COVID-19. Addressing Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, our list both presents research on these topics and tackles emerging problems. A key series in the area is the SSSP Agendas for Social Justice.
This focus has always been at the heart of our publishing with the view to making the research in this area as visible and accessible as possible in order to maximise its potential impact.
Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact. In Poverty, inequality and social justice, we aim to address the following goals:
Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice
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The continuing coronavirus pandemic has combined with other global crises to highlight some of the fundamental challenges of inequality that currently face us. They are global both in their current configuration and their historical constitution. Similarly, any solutions to the challenges represented will be global. The continuing relevance of the social sciences will rest on their ability adequately to conceptualise the global processes involved. It is only by acknowledging the significance of the ‘colonial global’ that it will be possible to understand and address the necessarily postcolonial present that is the context for issues of inequality in the present. This article argues for the need to consider our colonial past as the basis for thinking about contemporary configurations of the global. This is followed by an address of the implications of these arguments for how we understand citizenship and belonging in the present. What is needed is a ‘reparatory social science’ committed to undoing the inadequacies that have become lodged in our disciplines and working towards a project of repair and transformation for a world that works for all of us.
This article highlights the role states have in creating the conditions under which labour exploitation can occur. Specifically, it identifies several immigration policy decisions related to the UK’s exit from the European Union that will likely result in an increase in the number of irregular migrants in the United Kingdom and how this increase, when combined with measures that have progressively restricted the rights and entitlements of various immigration categories, creates an environment conducive to labour exploitation. It presents measures that could help address this problem, including changes to immigration policies and the strengthening of the labour market enforcement system.
In this paper I argue that the new coronavirus pandemic has brought to light some of the contradictions and paradoxes of our time, namely the contrast between human fragility and the technological hubris linked to the fourth industrial revolution (artificial intelligence); and the contrast between the TINA ideology (there is no alternative) and the sudden and extreme changes in our everyday life caused by the virus, thus suggesting that there are indeed alternatives. I then analyse the main metaphors that have been used in public discourse concerning our relations with the virus: the virus as an enemy; the virus as a messenger; the virus as pedagogue. I prefer the last one and explain why, and in what sense the virus is our contemporary.
Despite its stated protective purpose, the Modern Slavery Act has often fallen short when it comes to ensuring support, facilitating effective remedy, and safeguarding victims of modern slavery. Support services have been repeatedly flagged as insufficient to meet the needs of those recovering from modern slavery. Survivors have faced a ‘cliff-edge’ of support exiting the national referral mechanism, depriving them of access to essential services and leaving them vulnerable to re-trafficking. Decision-making timeframes have far exceeded stated benchmarks, leaving many survivors in limbo for extended periods of time. In addition, victims of modern slavery continue to be detained by immigration authorities and criminalised for actions committed while they were being exploited. Yet, at the same time, increasing numbers of survivors have been identified and supported as a result of the Act and associated care systems. This article explores developments in support for victims of modern slavery in the five years since the passage of the 2015 Act, assessing strengths, shortcomings, attempts to fill the gaps in provision, and where we go from here.
An increasing number of Australians are experiencing food insecurity due to rising costs of living and stagnant wage and welfare growth, as a result an increasing number of people are reliant on charity to meet their food needs. This research employs qualitative methods to explore the experiences of people who are reliant on emergency and community food assistance. The two main findings of this study are that people relying on charity often experience humiliation and embarrassment when accessing these services, and that when accessing theses services, they feel both judged and judgemental of others. Findings of this study highlight some of the challenges faced by people experiencing food insecurity and hunger.
Moving disabled people ‘off benefits and into work’ has been an explicit aim of work-first welfare reform since 2008, increasingly punitively since 2010. The aim of this article is to demonstrate, for the first time, how Universal Credit (UC) fits with and intensifies that strategy. Empirical data from 28 in-depth interviews with 19 claimants (nine were interviewed twice) and three focus groups with 23 Jobcentre staff show how UC full service applies mainstream job search conditionality to people with mental health problems. Ongoing fear of sanctions, financial hardship, surveillance and social isolation relating to digital design had adverse impacts, including for those without previous mental health problems.
This ambitious book offers radical alternatives to conventional ways of thinking about the planet’s most pressing challenges, ranging from alienation and exploitation to state violence and environmental injustice.
Bridging real-world examples of resistance and mutual aid in Zapatista territory with big-picture concepts like critical consciousness, social reproduction, and decolonisation, the authors encourage readers to view themselves as co-creators of the societies they are a part of - and ‘be Zapatistas wherever they are.’
Written by a diverse team of first-generation authors, this book offers an emancipatory set of anticolonial ideas related to both refusing liberal bystanding and collectively constructing better worlds and realities.
Michael Drew’s review of the causes and effects of food poverty in Ireland offers the first full-length study of this significant and protracted issue that has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
The book brings together the complex picture emerging from interviews with users of food aid. Their pathways into and through food poverty are impacted by the policies and practices of government and employers with wide-ranging implications. The work explores the international landscape of food poverty and situates both experiences and responses in a comparative context. It considers how these results contribute to an understanding of the problem and what action should be taken.
Underpinned by the idea of the right to a ‘basic minimum’, welfare states are a major feature of many societies. However, the lived experiences of persons seeking and receiving welfare payments can often be overlooked.
This book seeks to remedy this omission by honouring lived experience as valuable, insightful and necessary. It draws on qualitative interviews with 19 people receiving various working age welfare payments in Ireland to explore stigma, social reciprocity and the notions of the deserving and undeserving poor, and to analyse welfare conditionality in the Irish context.
Breaking new ground, this book offers original research findings which contest and inform policy both within Ireland and beyond.