Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice

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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Counter-Stories of Colliding Pandemics

This book addresses the prejudices that emerged out of the collision of two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism.

Offering a snapshot of experiences through counter story-telling and micro narratives, this collection assesses the racialised responses to the pandemic and investigates acts of discrimination that have occurred within social, political and historical contexts.

Capturing the divisive discourses which have dominated this contemporary moment, this is a unique and creative resource that shows how structural racism continues to operate insidiously, offering invaluable insights for policy, practicend critical race and ethnic studies.

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Co-creating for engagement

There is an urgent need to rethink relationships between systems of government and those who are ‘governed’. This book explores ways of rethinking those relationships by bringing communities normally excluded from decision-making to centre stage to experiment with new methods of regulating for engagement.

Using original, co-produced research, it innovatively shows how we can better use a ‘bottom-up’ approach to design regulatory regimes that recognise the capabilities of communities at the margins and powerfully support the knowledge, passions and creativity of citizens. The authors provide essential guidance for all those working on co-produced research to make impactful change.

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Power, Context and Policy Making in Indonesia

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence. This book explores the critical role that local knowledge plays in public policy processes as well as its role in the co-production of policy relevant knowledge with the scientific and professional communities.

The authors consider the mechanisms used by local organisations and the constraints and opportunities they face, exploring what the knowledge-to-policy process means, who is involved and how different communities can engage in the policy process.

Ten diverse case studies are used from around Indonesia, addressing issues such as forest management, water resources, maritime resource management and financial services. By making extensive use of quotes from the field, the book allows the reader to ‘hear’ the perspectives and beliefs of community members around local knowledge and its effects on individual and community life.

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Indigenous Criminology is the first book to comprehensively explore Indigenous people’s contact with criminal justice systems in a contemporary and historical context. Drawing on comparative Indigenous material from North America, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, it addresses both the theoretical underpinnings to the development of a specific Indigenous criminology, and canvasses the broader policy and practice implications for criminal justice.

Written by leading criminologists specialising in Indigenous justice issues, the book argues for the importance of Indigenous knowledges and methodologies to criminology, and suggests that colonialism needs to be a fundamental concept to criminology in order to understand contemporary problems such as deaths in custody, high imprisonment rates, police brutality and the high levels of violence in some Indigenous communities.

Prioritising the voices of Indigenous peoples, the work will make a significant contribution to the development of a decolonising criminology and will be of wide interest.

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Towards participatory social policy
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The UK welfare state is under sustained ideological and political attack. It has also been undermined by accusations of paternalism and past failures to engage with the very people it is intended to help.

This unique book is the first to critique the past, present and future welfare state from a participatory perspective. Peter Beresford, champion of user involvement, draws on pioneering theories and practice of welfare service user movements to offer a blueprint for a new participatory social policy. He controversially challenges orthodox social policy and the limitations of both Fabian and Neo-liberal perspectives in engaging people to improve their own welfare, drawing on service users ‘ own ideas and experience, including fascinating vignettes from his own family’s experience, to demonstrate the value of ‘user knowledge’.

Filling a much-needed gap in the literature, this accessible text will provide a great introduction for students and a road-map for practitioners of an alternative vision for a future participatory and sustainable social policy. It will also command much wider interest from everyone concerned with how we look after each other in future in society.

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Public encounters in participatory theory and practice

Participatory democracy has become an unshakable norm and its practice is widespread. Nowadays, public professionals and citizens regularly encounter each other in participatory practice to address shared problems. But while the frequency, pace and diversity of their public encounters has increased, communicating in participatory practice remains a challenging, fragile and demanding undertaking that often runs astray.

This unique book explores how citizens and public professionals communicate, why this is so difficult and what could lead to more productive conversations. Using timely, original empirical research to make a thorough comparative analysis of cases in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy it shows policy makers, practitioners, students and academics the value of communicative capacity.

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This original edited collection explores the value of public engagement in a wider social science context. Its main themes range from the dialogic character of social science to the pragmatic responses to the managerial policies underpinning the restructuring of Higher Education. The book is organised in three parts: the first encourages the reader to reflect upon the different social and political inflections of public engagement and offers one university example of a social science café in Bristol. The following sections are based upon talks given in the café and are linked by a concern with public engagement and the contribution of social science to a reflexive understanding of the dilemmas and practices of daily life. This highly topical book will be of interest to academics, practitioners and students interested in critical social issues as they impact on their everyday lives.

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Embodied, inscribed, enacted

This important collection presents a radical reconception of the place of knowledge in contemporary policymaking in Europe, based not on assumptions about evidence, expertise or experience but on the different forms that knowledge takes.

Knowledge is embodied in people, inscribed in documents and instruments, and enacted in specific circumstances. Empirical case studies of health and education policy in different national and international contexts demonstrate the essential interdependence of different forms and phases of knowledge. They illustrate the ways in which knowledge is mobilised and resisted, and draw attention to key problems in the processing and transformation of knowledge in policy work.

This novel theoretical framework offers real benefits for policymakers, academics in public policy, public administration, management studies, sociology, education, public health and social work, and those with a practical interest in education and health and related fields of public policy.

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The Role of Social Research in Politics, Policy and Practice
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In complex contemporary societies social science has become increasingly interwoven into the whole fabric of governance. At the same time there is an increasing recognition that attempts to understand the social world which seek to mimic the linear approaches of the conventional ‘hard sciences’ are mostly useless given the complex systems character of society in all its aspects. This book draws on a synthesis of critical realism and complexity theory to examine how social science is applied now and how it might be applied in the future in relation to social transformation in a time of crisis. A central argument is that there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ science of the social and that a recognition of the inevitability of application imposes obligations on social scientists wherever they work which challenge the passivity of most in the face of inequality and injustice.

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