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The Student's Companion to Social Policy, 5th Edition

Pete Alcock (Editor), Tina Haux (Editor), Margaret May (Editor), Sharon Wright (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-96597-9
600 pages
August 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
The Student


This fully updated and expanded edition of the bestselling Student’s Companion to Social Policy charts the latest developments, research, challenges, and controversies in the field in a concise, authoritative format.

  • Provides students with the analytical base from which to investigate and evaluate key concepts, perspectives, policies, and outcomes at national and international levels
  • Features a new section on devolution and social policy in the UK; enhanced discussion of international and comparative issues; and new coverage of ‘nudge’-based policies, austerity politics, sustainable welfare, working age conditionality, social movements, policy learning and transfer, and social policy in the BRIC countries
  • Offers essential information for anyone studying social policy, from undergraduates on introductory courses to those pursuing postgraduate or professional programmes
  • Accompanied by updated online resources to support independent learning and skill development with chapter overviews, study questions, guides to key sources and career opportunities, a key term glossary, and more
  • Written by a team of experts working at the forefront of social policy
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Table of Contents


Part I Concepts and Approaches

1. What is Social Policy?
Pete Alcock

2. Researching Social Policy
Saul Becker and Pete Alcock

3. Social Needs, Social Problems, Social Welfare and Wellbeing
Nick Manning

4. Equality and Social Justice
Peter Taylor-Gooby

5. Human Rights and Equality
Deidre Flanigan and Alison Hosie

6. Efficiency, Equity and Choice
Carol Propper

7. Citizenship
Peter Dwyer

8. Changing Behaviour
Jessica Pykett

Part II Key Perspectives

9. Neo-liberalism
ick Ellison

10. The Conservative Tradition
Hugh Bochel

11. Social Democracy
Robert Page

12. Socialist Perspectives
Hartley Dean

13. Feminist Perspectives
Shona Hunter

14. Social Movements
Louisa Parks

15. Post-Modernist Perspectives
Tony Fitzpatrick

Part III Historical Context

16. Nineteenth Century Beginnings
Bernard Harris

17. The Liberal Era
Noel Whiteside

18. The Post-War Welfare State
Robert Page

19. Crisis, Retrenchment and Neo-Liberalism
Howard Glennerster

20. Modernisation and the Third Way
Martin Powell

21. Austerity Politics
Jay Wiggan

Part IV Devolution and Social Policy in the UK

22. Social Policy and Devolution
Richard Parry

23. Social Policy in Northern Ireland
Ann Marie Gray and Derek Birrell

24. Social Policy in Scotland
Lynne Poole

25. Social Policy in Wales

Paul Chaney

Part V Contemporary Context and Challenges

26. The Demographic Challenge
Jane Falkingham and Athina Vlachantoni

27. The Economic Context
Kevin Farnsworth and Zoe Irving

28. The Sustainability Challenge
Tony Fitzpatrick

29. The Role of Religion
Rana Jawed

30. The Distribution of Welfare
John Hills

31. Divisions and Difference
Sharon Wright

32. ‘Race’, Minority Ethnic Groups and Social Welfare
Lucinda Platt

33. Poverty and Social Exclusion
Pete Alcock

Part VI Welfare Production and Provision

34. State Welfare
Catherine Bochel

35. Commercial Welfare
Christopher Holden

36. Occupational Welfare
Edward Brunsdon and Margaret May

37. Voluntary Welfare
Jeremy Kendall

38. Informal Welfare
Linda Pickard

39. Welfare Users and Social Policy
Catherine Needham

40. Paying for Welfare
Howard Glennerster

41. Taxation and Welfare
Stuart Adam and Barra Roantree

Part VII Welfare Governance

42. The Policy Process
Hugh Bochel

43. Managing and Delivering Welfare
Ian Greener

44. Accountability for Welfare
Jackie Gulland

45. Local Governance
Guy Daly and Howard Davis

46. The European Union
Linda Hantrais

Part VIII Welfare Domains

47. Social Security
Karen Rowlingson and Stephen McKay

48. Employment
Alan Whitworth and Eleanor Carter

49. Health Care
Rob Baggott

50. Public Health
Rob Baggott

51. Education in Schools
Anne West

52. Lifelong Learning and Training
Claire Callender

53. Housing
David Mullins

54. Social Care
Jon Glasby

55. Criminal Justice
Tim Newburn

Part IX Experiencing Welfare

56. Working Age Conditionality
Ruth Patrick

57. Family Policies
Tina Haux

58. Children
Tess Ridge

59. Young People
Bob Coles and Aniela Wenham

60. Older People
Kate Hamblin

61. Disability
Mark Priestley

62. Migrants and Asylum Seekers
Majella Kilkey

Part X International and Comparative Context

63. Comparative Analysis
Margaret May

64. Policy Learning and Transfer
John Hudson

65. Social Policy in Europe
Jochen Clasen and Daniel Clegg

66. Social Policy in the USA
Scott L. Greer and Philip M. Singer

67. Social Policy in East Asia
Misa Izuhara

68. Social Policy in the BRICS countries
Rebecca Surender

69. Social Policy in the Middle East and North Africa
Rana Jawad

70. Social Policy in Developing Societies
Patricia Kennett

71. Globalism and International Organisations
Nicola Yeates

Appendix: The Social Policy Association (SPA)

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Author Information

Pete Alcock is Professor of Social Policy and Administration at the University of Birmingham, UK. He has been teaching and researching in social policy for forty years. From 2003-2008, he was Head of the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham, from 2008-2014 he was Director of the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC), and since 2013 he has been Director of the University’s ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. He is author and editor of a number of leading books on social policy including Social Policy in Britain (4th edition, 2014), Welfare Theory and Development (4 volumes, 2011), International Social Policy: Welfare Regimes in the Developed World (2nd edition, 2009), and Understanding Poverty (3rd edition, 2006).His research has covered the fields of poverty and anti-poverty policy, social security, and the role of the UK third sector.

Tina Haux is Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Kent, UK, and a member of the Qstep team at Kent. Her main research interests are family policy, welfare-to-work, social justice, evidence-based policy-making and, increasingly, longitudinal research methods. She is the author of the forthcoming book The Impact of Social Policy Scholars (2017).

Margaret May is Honorary Research Fellow in Social Policy and a member of the Centre for Household Asset and Savings Management (CHASM) at the University of Birmingham, UK. A past chair of the Social Policy Association, she has been teaching and researching in social policy for over thirty years and has edited and co-authored a number of leading books in the field, including Social Policy in Britain (fourth edition, 2014) and The Blackwell Dictionary of Social Policy (Blackwell, 2002). Her research interests include occupational and private welfare, employment policy, and human resource management.

Sharon Wright is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where she teaches social and public policy, specializing in the policy process; policy, politics and power; and work, welfare, and the politics of reform.  Her international research interests are in the lived experiences of poverty, social security, welfare reform, and the implementation of employment services at street-level.  She is co-editor of Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth: Policies and Prospects (2008), and is currently conducting a major new study entitled ‘Welfare Conditionality:  Sanctions, Support, and Behaviour Change’.
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