‘Aroused Like One from Sleep’: From New Poor Law to Contractual Workfare

Desmond King

in In The Name of Liberalism

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296294
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599668 | DOI:
 ‘Aroused Like One from Sleep’: From New Poor Law to Contractual Workfare

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Uses historical and contemporary evidence to demonstrate how British government policies toward the unemployed have increasingly come to rest on the notion of duties and obligations arising from a commitment to liberal contractualism. King explores 150 years of welfare policy, beginning with the 1834 New Poor Law and ending with modern Labour workfare schemes of the late 1990s. He argues that more contemporary versions of workfare—although sharing affinities with previous programmes—signal a sharp break from the past by establishing conditions and enforcing sanctions on individuals who fail to comply with policy requirements.

Keywords: Britain; contractualism; duties; Labour; New Poor Law; obligations; sanctions; welfare; workfare

Chapter.  14823 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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