March 2011, Polity
The book connects theory and practice. Tracing the concept's background in economics, political science and social policy, the book juxtaposes welfare with newer approaches, such as subjective well-being, capabilities, care, social exclusion and social capital. The links between welfare and political ideas are also elaborated. The welfare state, as it developed historically in Europe and as it is changing in different countries, is given an important place in the analysis. Drawing on a range of empirical work, the book in its final part considers how individuals and groups attain welfare and how this shapes people's decisions and actions in their everyday lives.
Written in a lively style, the book provides students of sociology, social policy and political science with a valuable point of access to a range of debates and thinking in the field of welfare and related concepts.
Lists of Tables, Figures and Boxes vii
1 Founding Ideas and Approaches 12
2 Well-being and Other Challenges to Conventional Understandings of Welfare 36
3 Classic Political Philosophies of Welfare 61
4 The State and Public Welfare 84
5 Securing Material Welfare through the Market and the State 111
6 The Personal and Social Relations of Welfare 134
7 Conclusion 154
- Short introductory overview of the diverse theories and applications of the concept of ‘welfare' across the social sciences.
- Defines ‘welfare' in a broad sense, taking in issues such as well-being, social rights, etc., rather than just looking at the welfare state or economic welfare.
- Addresses issues such as political ideologies of welfare, different measurement methods, unequal access to welfare across society, sources of welfare (both material and otherwise).
- Written by a respected figure in the field, particularly known for her work on gender and welfare.
Social Policy & Administration
"Daly provides a philosophical and sociological overview that
makes this little book the new touchstone for the study of social
Labour / Le Travail
"Mary Daly's lucidly written book analyses the core ideological
and philosophical debates about welfare and also explores 'welfare
in practice' - how welfare policies are actually delivered through
the different mediums of the state, the market and the family. This
is a truly excellent introduction to a complex and contested
concept, and student will benefit enormously from reading
Nick Ellison, University of Leeds
"The welfare state is everywhere under attack. Academics respond
with new accounts of how welfare is to be understood in a world of
migration, recession, escalating inequality, make-work-pay and
volatile families. This book provides an energetic review of an
exciting and uncertain world."
Peter Taylor-Gooby, University of Kent