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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2000): Welfare State - UK

CARING IN THE THIRD WAY: THE RELATION BETWEEN OBLIGATION, RESPONSIBILITY AND CARE IN THIRD WAY DISCOURSE

S. Sevenhuijsen

Critical Social Policy, issue 62, 2000, p. 5-37

Article argues that notions of "third way politics" could become more relevant and valuable, as well as more able to address current social problems, if the value of care was taken into account. This includes both caring as a day-to-day activity and care as a moral orientation and a moral framework. Suggests that care should be seen as a democratic practice, and that democratic citizenship supposes that everybody would be guaranteed equal access to the giving and receiving of care.

EXCHANGE OF IRE ON THE FRONTLINE

D. Harding

Public Finance, Apr. 28th - May 4th 2000, p. 27-28

The government is increasingly using "frontline first" to fund local services such as the police and education directly, by-passing local authorities. This is strengthening central control and undermining local democracy and accountability.

MAKING VOLUNTEERING POLICIES MORE EFFECTIVE: RESEARCH EVIDENCE FROM NORTHERN IRELAND

J. L. Brudney and A. Williamson

Public Management, vol. 2, 2000, p. 85-103

Faced with declining civic trust and increasing fiscal strain, many governments have produced policies to encourage volunteering, or to mandate departments and agencies to recruit and involve volunteers in their work. Article reports results of a study comparing two health and social service trusts in Northern Ireland with respect to their response to government policies to incorporate volunteers into the provision of health and social care. Study examines the priority accorded by the trusts to the implementation of these policies, the support they give to volunteers administration and management and the missing links in the process.

NEW LABOUR AND THE THIRD WAY IN THE BRITISH WELFARE STATE: A NEW AND DISTINCTIVE APPROACH?

M. Powell

Critical Social Policy, issue 62, 2000, p. 39-60

The present Labour government sees the reform of the welfare state as its big task. It aims to achieve this through the "Third Way", which is said to be a distinctive approach that differs from both the old left and the new right. Author argues that the Third Way is eclectic, and characterised by pragmatism and populism. It appears to be neither distinctive nor new, leaning to the right rather than the centre or centre-left, and having some roots in the New Poor Law and the mixed economy of welfare of Beveridge.

PROSPECTS FOR POVERTY IN BRITAIN IN THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF THE NEXT CENTURY

J. Bradshaw

Sociology, vol. 34, 2000, p. 53-70

Demographic prospects for reducing poverty are mainly good. Children and the elderly are high risk groups. The number of children will fall and the proportion of elderly people does not increase as much as in the last two decades. Prospects for economic growth and stability look good, and competition for jobs will decline, increasing opportunities for those excluded from the labour market. Reducing overall poverty and abolishing child poverty in twenty years are key targets of the Labour government. However there are anxieties about their reliance on labour market solutions. There will still need to be redistribution in favour of those who cannot work.

SUPPORTING FAMILIES? NEW LABOUR'S COMMUNITARIANISM AND THE 'RATIONALITY' MISTAKE. PART 1

A. Barlow and S. Duncan

Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, vol. 22, 2000, p. 23-42

In formulating social policy the Labour government implicitly assumes a universal model of 'rational economic man' and his close cousin the 'rational legal subject', whereby people take individualistic, cost-benefit type decisions and how to maximise their own personal gain. If government changes the financial structure of costs and benefits, and the legal structure of rights and duties, it is assumed that people will modify their social behaviour in response. However, recent empirical research tends to show that people do not respond like rational economic man in making decisions, but act within a moral framework. Legislation based on the model of 'rational economic man' is therefore liable to be ineffective. This point is illustrated with reference to the New Deal for Lone Parents and the financial proposals of the green paper 'Supporting Families'.

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