Social Citizenship in new Labour’S new “Active” Welfare State: The case of the United Kingdom

Ruth Lister

in Social Policy and Citizenship

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199754045
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979455 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Social Citizenship in new Labour’S new “Active” Welfare State: The case of the United Kingdom

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The chapter begins with a general section on social citizenship, which covers its theoretical framework and the context of how social citizenship has been understood and debated in the UK, leading to New Labour’s philosophy on social citizenship. As the main area in which this philosophy has been translated into policy has been the social security system, this is the main focus of the policy analysis. The central section discusses the relationship between rights and responsibilities in the social security system. The chapter also assesses the social investment approach, with particular reference to policy in the areas of child poverty, childcare, and social exclusion, and the shift to greater emphasis on means-testing in the name of “progressive universalism.” The conclusion briefly reflects on the factors underlying the shift in social citizenship and looks ahead to the implications of the change of government.

Keywords: behavior; child poverty; children; means-testing; paid work; personalization; rights and responsibilities; social citizenship; social investment; social security

Chapter.  12850 words. 

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