Chapter

Issues and theories of social policy in Britain: past, present and future

Hilary Land

in Comparing social policies

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9781861343666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301967 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861343666.003.0002
Issues and theories of social policy in Britain: past, present and future

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As universalism has been watered down, particularly since 1980, the challenge today is how to reestablish universality in the context of growing reliance on the private sector for profit heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. Or, perhaps, the challenge in fact is to find an alternative way to sustain a sense of community and social solidarity. This chapter explores some of the key issues involved, looking first at some of the main changes which have occurred since the 1950s. It holds that a social democratic regime has relatively flexible labour markets, but even when the labour market is in turmoil, it maintains a strong social security and welfare programme. The conservative regime attempts to minimise labour market turmoil and the responsibility for welfare is placed on families rather than the state. The liberal regime is characterised by failing families combined with a scaled back welfare state which does not ensure security.

Keywords: sense of community; social services; social solidarity; welfare programme; labour market turmoil

Chapter.  8015 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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