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Social Policy for the Twenty-First Century: New Perspectives, Big Issues



Social Policy for the Twenty-First Century: New Perspectives, Big Issues

Bill Jordan

ISBN: 978-0-745-63607-8 July 2006 Polity 304 Pages

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In the new century, governments face three challenges for their social policies. Their efforts to improve their citizens’ well-being must be consistent with the development of the world economy, and should if possible enhance the situation of the poorest populations. Their systems for redistribution and public services must be rooted in a convincing version of their own domestic order. And they should be sustainable over time, doing justice to the needs of future generations.

This book shows how social policy can address these big issues, and how they relate to each other in an integrated world economy. Drawing on perspectives and analyses from political and social theory, economics, psychology, migration studies and international relations, Bill Jordan gives a new account of the links between global human development and individual well-being. He analyses the purposes and strategies of international organizations, business corporations and ordinary individuals, using case examples from all over the world.

Essential reading for anyone interested in the future of social policy.

List of Tables.


Introduction and Themes of the Book.

Part I Social Policy and the Global Economy.

Section 1A Human Development and Redistribution.

Chapter 1 New Models of Human Development.

Chapter 2 The Scope for Redistribution and Social Justice.

Section 1B How the World Works.

Chapter 3 Explaining the New Global Division of Labour.

Chapter 4 Social Policy, Credit and Debt.

Section 1C Commercial Provision of Social Services.

Chapter 5 The Global Market in Services - Health Care.

Chapter 6 The Business Agenda in Education.

Part II Human Well-Being: Autonomy and Membership.

Chapter 7 The Basis for Individualism and Choice.

Chapter 8 The Transformation of Collective Provision.

Chapter 9 The Transformation of Citizenship.

Chapter 10 'Stalled Well-Being'.

Part III Global Social Justice: The Big Issues.

Chapter 11 Community, Morality and Belonging.

Chapter 12 The Role of Social Services in the Social Context.

Chapter 13 Interdependence, Development and Justice: A Cosmopolitan World Order.

Chapter 14 Sustainable Development.




“In more than 20 books, Bill Jordan has made a unique contribution to topical debates in social policy and international perspectives on welfare. Social Policy for the Twenty-First Century fits the track record. It is imaginative and wide ranging. Jordan has a gift for writing in a way that combines challenging ideas with readability ... This is an excellent overview of social policy on the world stage.”
Times Higher Education Supplement

“A tour de force, presenting a powerful critical analysis of the most significant and politically important issues in social policy today. This book deserves to be read by a far wider audience than social policy academics and students.”
Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

“Provides rich materials, mostly based on aggregated comparative data or impressive case studies, that attain a truly global reach [and] with a comprehensive and far-reaching view on relevant issues and current trends and puts forward important analytical challenges opening the field to social policy theory and empirical research to be developed in the years to come.”
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

“Bill Jordan's magpie approach to scholarship once again enables him to pick up for scrutiny all the big issues of the day; the impact of the global economy and global policies upon welfare systems, the conversion of welfare users from citizens into consumers, the stalling of well-being and the problems of sustainability. His creative imagination links all of these issues and leads him to ask whether cosmopolitanism and a grand global social contract such as implied by a global basic income would be the way to reconcile individual autonomy, collective belonging and sustainability.”
Bob Deaconm, University of Sheffield

“Social Policy for the Twenty-First Century provides a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of soical policies and their roles in the transformations in human development, economic development, social relations, politics, redistribution, and social justice in the current intensely globalized era. The volume is most impressive in its truly global reach, and in the fascinating cases that serve as examples of the complex issues of wellbeing and policy.”
Joya Misra, University of Massachusetts

“Claims to have captured what is at stake for the social policies of the new century are often hyperbole. Not here. Bill Jordan's readers are sometimes invited to contemplate a vast landscape; sometimes required to dive down and explore the local setails. The ride is always exhilarating. By challenging the 'common sense' of the existing welfare consensus Jordan underlines the point of academic and political inquiry: to help create the common sense of the future.”
Tony Fitzpatrick, University of Nottingham

  • Considers the future of social policy from a uniquely global standpoint
  • Provides new insight into the provision of education, health and security in the new century
  • Looks at social policy from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining approaches from social and political theory, international relations, economics and psychology
  • An exciting re-evaluation of social policy from a highly-respected author in the field