Understanding Social Policy / Edition 8

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The eighth edition of this successful textbook provides a student-friendly assessment of the key substantive areas of social policy and the context and processes which surround their development.

  • Written to engage students across the health and social sciences as well as those studying social policy as a main subject
  • Features a greater emphasis on key principles, themes, and issues, an overview of recent policy changes, broader coverage of the historical and global context, and new chapters on social care for adults and on education and children
  • Uses case studies and other text box material to illustrate the contents of each chapter
  • Provides an accessible introduction to key areas of policy while inviting readers to consider these in historical, social, and comparative context
  • Investigates current constitutional changes and their potential impact upon social policy
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The revisions made to the new edition do more than merely update the text, instead adding a significant new dimension to it. They ensure that the book speaks to the latest intellectual developments as well as the latest policy developments, refreshing its scope and outlook as well as its empirical content. In short, they have strengthened still further an excellent text." John Hudson, University of York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405181761
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Hill is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London and the University of Brighton. He is the author of numerous books on Social Policy and the study of policy processes.

Zoë Irving is lecturer in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Sheffield. She is co-editor of Policy Reconsidered, Meanings Politics and Practices (2007) and has published in the areas of gender and employment and learning and teaching Social Policy.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables x

Preface to the Eighth Edition xi

1 Studying Social Policy 1

Introduction 1

The Individual and Society 2

Rights and Obligations 5

Social Policy: Magpie, Jelly-baby or Side-salad? 10

The Content of this Book 12

Suggestions for Further Reading 15

2 The Shaping of Contemporary Social Policy 16

Introduction 16

Poverty and the State before the Welfare State 17

The Emergence of a ‘Welfare State’ in the Early Twentieth Century 25

Beveridge’s ‘Five Giants’ 33

The Welfare State after Beveridge 38

Suggestions for Further Reading 42

3 The Making of Social Policy 43

Introduction 43

The Representative Government Model 44

The Central Government System 45

Devolution 51

Local Government 56

The United Kingdom in Europe 57

The Global Context 59

The Voice of the People? 60

Influences on Policy Making 64

Ministerial Power: the Role of Officials and the Influence of Outside Groups and Policy Communities 69

Suggestions for Further Reading 74

4 Implementation 76

Introduction 76

Structures for Policy Implementation: Under Central Government 77

Structures for Policy Implementation: Under Local Government 78

Analysing Policy Implementation 84

Issues about the Shaping of Policy 85

Issues about ‘Layers’ in the Policy Transfer Process 87

Factors Affecting the Responses of Implementation Agencies 91

Horizontal Interorganizational Relationships 94

The Social, Political and Economic Environment 95

Conclusions 95

Suggestions for Further Reading 97

5 Social Security 98

Introduction 98

The Distinctive Characteristics of the UK System of Social Security 99

Contributory Benefits 101

Benefits that the State Requires the Employer to Provide 103

Non-contributory, Non-means-tested, Contingent Benefits 103

Means-tested Benefits 103

Tax Credits 106

Statistics on the Benefit System 106

Pension Reform 106

Problems with Means-testing 110

Social Security Assumptions about Family Life and Women’s Roles 114

Social Security Benefit Levels and Poverty 116

Conclusions 121

Suggestions for Further Reading 122

6 Employment Policy 123

Introduction 123

Alternative Approaches to Employment Policy 124

The Evolution of the UK Approach to Employment Policy 126

The Impact upon the UK of European Union Membership 129

The Main Employment Policy Measures 130

Training 132

Encouraging/Enforcing Labour Market Participation 134

Reducing Unemployment or Stimulating Employment? 137

Government Regulation of Work Conditions and Job Security 141

Employment and Social Policy: a European Future? 144

Conclusions 146

Suggestions for Further Reading 147

7 Health Policy 148

Introduction 148

The Organization and Management of the National Health Service 149

Patient Access to Health Services 152

The Financing of the National Health Service 155

Management and Professional Accountability 159

Need and the Rationing of the Health Service 161

Equality of Treatment: the Impact of the Private Sector 164

Equality of Treatment: Inequalities in Health and Medical Treatment 166

Health Policy or Illness Policy? 169

The Representation and Protection of the Public 170

Conclusions 173

Suggestions for Further Reading 174

8 Social Care for Adults 175

Introduction 175

An Overview of Social Care Services 176

Residential Care: a More Detailed Examination 180

Care Outside Residential Homes 183

Direct Payments and Personal Budgets 185

The Relationship between Personal Social Care and the Health Service 188

Needs and Priorities 190

Conclusions 193

Suggestions for Further Reading 194

9 Education and Children 195

Introduction 195

The Organization and Management of the State School System 196

Higher and Further Education 199

Child Care 200

Child Protection 203

Control over the Education System 207

The Government and the Curriculum 209

Diversity and Selectivity in the Education System 210

Education and the Disadvantaged 213

Education and Minority Ethnic Groups 216

Special Education and Other Welfare Measures 219

Conclusions 221

Suggestions for Further Reading 222

10 Housing 223

Introduction 223

How the Housing System Acquired its Present Shape 224

The Social Housing Sector 225

Owner-occupation 229

The Private Rented Sector 234

Homelessness 236

Social Exclusion and Residualization 237

Conclusions 240

Suggestions for Further Reading 242

11 The UK in the Wider World 243

Introduction 243

Policy Learning 244

Explaining the Shape of Developed Welfare States 247

Gender, Diversity and Culture in Comparative Theory 250

Comparing Social Policies 252

Social Policy from Above and Below 255

Conclusion: the UK in Comparative Context 256

Suggestions for Further Reading 259

12 Social Policy and Social Change 261

Introduction 261

Changes in the Family 262

Changes in Working Life 265

Changes in the UK Population 269

Conclusions 275

Suggestions for Further Reading 276

References 277

Index 289

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