Changing Directions of the British Welfare State

Editor(s) Gideon Calder, Jeremy Gass, Kirsten Merrill-Glover

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism,Social Policy and Law

  • November 2012 ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9780708325469
  • · eBook - pdf - 9780708325476
  • · eBook - epub - 9781783165513

About The Book

This is a unique and timely survey of the evolving priorities of the British welfare state since its inception in the late 1940s, with an emphasis on how current and future aims and features of welfare provision compare with the ambitions of its original architects. In this book, 15 commentators, including prominent academic experts in the field, and also members of think tanks, charities and campaigning organisations - with a foreword by the BBC's Huw Edwards, explore themes such as health, education, housing, gender, disability and ethnic diversity. The result of this study is a rich, critical and thought-provoking exploration of the legacy and prospects of the welfare state - worth reading by anyone with an interest in debates on how a modern society should meet the needs of its citizens.


A valuable, wide-ranging assessment of where Beveridge's welfare state stands in the early years of the 21st century. It should be of interest to both students of social policy and a wider readership. Ruth Lister, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough University and member of the House of Lords. The authors cast a committed but critical eye over the past performance of the British welfare state in relation to Beveridge's '5 Giants' over the 70 years since his 1942 report, and examine current issues that are key to its future. The combination of its grounding in the specific context of Wales on the one hand and its wide range of topics on the other gives this volume a unique and valuable perspective. Fran Bennett, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford


Introduction Gideon Calder, Jeremy Gass and Kirsten Merrill-Glover Part 1: The 'five giants' 1. Want | 'What the British people desire': the rise and fall of insurance-based social security Peter Kenway 2. Disease | Social democracy, health inequalities and the welfare state Michael Sullivan 3. Ignorance | Combating ignorance: education, social opportunity and citizenship in Wales Gareth Rees 4. Squalor | Shifting boundaries: people, homes and the state since 1945 John Puzey 5. Idleness | 'No longer a problem of industry': principles, practice and policy in the early 21st century David Byrne Part 2: Five challenges 6. Gender | Continuity and change: gender and welfare Sandra Shaw 7. Race | A very British welfare state? 'race' and racism Charlotte Williams 8. Disability | What rights for disabled people in a welfare state? Need-fulfilment versus identity-assertion and the 'problem of dependency' Steven R. Smith 9. Devolution | Devolution and the welfare state: the case of Wales Mark Drakeford 10. The Start and End of Life The welfare of children since 1948 Ian Butler The welfare of older people since 1948 Liz Lloyd Conclusions: Taking Stock Victoria Winckler

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Kirsten Merrill-Glover

Kirsten Merrill-Glover is Head of Community Learning at the University of South Wales.

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