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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2003): Welfare State - UK

THE HOLLOWING OUT OF THE WELFARE STATE AND SOCIAL CAPITAL

J. M. Roberts and F. Devine

Social Policy and Society, Vol. 2, 2003, p.309-318

Both academics and government have long been promoting the benefits of social capital. Tony Blair in particular has stressed the importance of voluntary activity in local communities to help generate a notion of "civic renewal" and has drawn on the work of Robert Putnam to support his view that social capital encourages "bonding" between individuals and the community. This article places the popularity of social capital within the historical context of "hollowing out the welfare state". Problems caused by this "hollowing out" are highlighted, including changes in the voluntary sector and the uneven nature of local and social economic development.

A NEW VISION OF POVERTY

C. Baker

Axis, Sept/Oct. 2003, p.16-17

Government has issued proposals for comment on changes to the way it measures deprivation. The proposed new indicators include measures of income, employment, health and educational deprivation, barriers to accessing housing and services, crime and disorder levels, and quality of the living environment.

OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT 2003

Department for Work and Pensions

London: TSO, 2003 (CM 5956)

The report provides an overview of progress towards the government's goal of alleviating poverty and social exclusion. It covers initiatives to boost people's incomes, break cycles of deprivation and improve public services. It goes on to explore issues relating to key vulnerable groups such as disabled people, large families and minority ethnic groups. Finally, the report highlights how partnership working has been crucial to delivering the social inclusion agenda.

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