Welfare Policy under New Labour: The Politics of Social Security Reform

Overview

How much freedom of action does an ambitious reforming party have as it moves from opposition to government? Drawing on original research and first-hand interviews, Andrew Connell analyzes the development of welfare reform policy following New Labour's ascent to power in 1997 to show how ideas, actors, and structures can constrain policy options. He looks at the contrasting ideas of Frank Field, Minister for Welfare Reform in 1997-8, and of Gordon Brown, and shows how Brown's approach eventually came to prevail. ...

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Overview

How much freedom of action does an ambitious reforming party have as it moves from opposition to government? Drawing on original research and first-hand interviews, Andrew Connell analyzes the development of welfare reform policy following New Labour's ascent to power in 1997 to show how ideas, actors, and structures can constrain policy options. He looks at the contrasting ideas of Frank Field, Minister for Welfare Reform in 1997-8, and of Gordon Brown, and shows how Brown's approach eventually came to prevail. The book also includes a unique exposition of Field's political and social philosophy, showing how his consistent Christian socialist beliefs influenced his work as Minister for Welfare Reform. Welfare Policy under New Labour will be essential reading for scholars of contemporary politics and social policy and for those interested in New Labour and welfare reform.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Andrew Connell holds a PhD from the University of Wales and currently teaches at the University of York. He first became interested in welfare reform as an advice worker in London in the 1990s.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• Before 'New Labour': the development of the Labour Party's welfare policies from the Policy Review until 1994
• New Labour and Welfare Reform, 1994-97
• The ideas and career of Frank Field until May 1997
• Welfare reform and the thought of Gordon Brown
• Field as Minister
• The development of welfare reform policy, May 1997- August 1998
• Conclusion: Field, Brown, and New Labour's discourse of the active state

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