Collection: Social and Public Policy

 

The heartland of Policy Press, for 25 years we have published research that highlights social issues, challenges debate and ultimately influences policy and policy makers. 

This collection provides over 320 critical works published from 1996 and includes the following series: Case Studies on Poverty, Place and Policy; Civil Society and Social Change; Contemporary Issues in Social Policy; Global Perspectives on Philanthropy and Public Good; Personal Lives and Social Policy; Policy and Politics in the Twenty-First Century; Research in Comparative and Global Social Policy; Social Policy Review; Studies in Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion; Understanding Welfare: Social Issues, Policy and Practice; International Library of Policy Analysis; Third Sector Research; New Perspectives in Policy and Politics.
 

Social and Public Policy Collection

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Developing the new framework of ‘life-mix’, which considers the mixed patterns of caring and working in different periods of life, this book systematically explores the interplay of productivism, women, care and work in East Asia and Europe.

The book ranges across four key aspects of welfare – childcare, parental leave, employment support and pensions – to illustrate how policies affect women in various periods of their lives. Policy case studies from France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, South Korea, Sweden and the UK, show how welfare could support people’s caring and working lives. This book forms a prescient examination of how productivist thinking underpins regimes and impacts women’s welfare, care and work in both the East and West.

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Author: Jonathan Wistow

In this challenging and original study, Wistow positions social policy within political economy and social contract debates.

Focusing on individual, intergenerational and societal outcomes related to health, place and social mobility in England, he draws on empirical evidence to show how the social contract produces longstanding, highly patterned and inequitable consequences in these areas. Globalisation and the political economy simultaneously contribute to the extent and nature of social problems and to social policy’s capacity to address them effectively.

Applying social contract theory, this book shows that society needs to take ownership of the outcomes it produces and critically interrogates the individualism inherent within the political economy.

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More Harm than Good?

More than a decade on from their conception, this book reflects on the consequences of income management policies in Australia and Zealand.

Drawing on a three-year study, it explores the lived experience of those for whom core welfare benefits and services are dependent on government conceptions of ‘responsible’ behaviour. It analyses whether officially claimed positive intentions and benefits of the schemes are outweighed by negative impacts that deepen the poverty and stigma of marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

This novel study considers the future of this form of welfare conditionality and addresses wider questions of fairness and social justice.

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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.

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Rethinking What Motivates Public Actors
Author: Chris O’Leary

Chris O’Leary looks afresh at the reasons for prosocial work choices in the first substantive critique of Public Service Motivation (PSM).

With critical analysis of theoretical and empirical research to date, this book explores the pros and cons of PSM and interrogates the reasons why people choose to work in the public and third sectors. It proposes an alternative theory for the pursuit of service, rooted in rational choice theory, that shows public servants are expressly motivated to confirm their values and identity through their work.

For those involved in public policy, administration and management, this is a constructive and stimulating review of an important but often neglected aspect of the sector.

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A Hidden Deprivation
Author: Michael Drew

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.

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Lived Experiences in the Irish Welfare Space
Author: Joe Whelan

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.

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This book is the first systematic study of policy analysis activities in Spain.

It provides a comprehensive overview of how policy actors, including politicians, think tanks, researchers, interest groups and experts, generate information for the policy-making process. The book explores how executive and legislative actors participate in the production of policy analysis and how all actors elaborate and disseminate information on policy analysis.

Contributors consider the ways different policy actors are involved in the production of data and information about policy problems, the resources used to produce policy analysis and the type of analysis produced over time in different policy areas.

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Gendered Systems of Inaccessibility, Inaction and Irresponsibility
Author: Kay Cook

Drawing on interviews with informants from a diverse range of 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Peru, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Nigeria, this book examines how child support systems often fail to transfer payments from separated fathers to mothers and their children. It lays out how these systems are structured in ways that render them ineffective, while positioning women as responsible for their failures.

The book charts the demise of child support as a feminist intervention, resituating it as gendered governance practice that operates by making the system inaccessible, failing to deliver outcomes, and condoning fathers’ irresponsibility. It identifies how the gender order is entrenched through child support failure and offers possibilities for feminist reform.

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Is transparency a necessary condition to build and restore citizen and civil society trust in governance and democracy?

Throughout Europe, there is a growing demand for effective forms of citizen engagement and decentralisation in policy-making to increase trust and engage increasingly diverse populations.

This volume addresses the relationship between trust and transparency in the context of multi-level governance. Drawing on fieldwork from the UK, France and Germany, this comparative analysis examines different efforts to build trust between key actors involved in decision-making at the sub-national level. It outlines the challenges of delivering this agenda and explores the paradox that trust might require transparency, yet in some instances transparency may undermine trust.

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