Welfare states face profound challenges. Widening economic and social inequalities have been intensified by austerity politics, sharpened by the rise in ethno-nationalism and exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, recent decades have seen a resurgence of social justice activism at the local and transnational level. Yet the transformative power of feminist, anti-racist and post/decolonial thinking has become relatively marginal to core social policy theory, while other critical approaches – around disability, sexuality, migration, age and the environment – have only selectively found recognition.
This book provides a much-needed new analysis of this complex landscape, drawing together critical approaches in social policy with intersectionality and political economy. Fiona Williams contextualizes contemporary social policies not only in the global crisis of finance capitalism, but also in the interconnected global crises of care, ecology, and racialized borders. These shape and are shaped at national scale by the intersecting dynamics of Family, Nation, Work and Nature. Through critical assessment of these realities, the book probes the ethical, prefigurative and transformative possibilities for a future welfare commons.
This significant intervention will animate social policy thinking, teaching and research. It will be essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the complexities of social policy for the years ahead.
PART I ORIENTATION
2. A Critical and Intersectional Approach to Social Policy
3. Intersecting Global Crises and Dynamics of Family, Nation, Work, and Nature: a framework for analysis
PART II ANALYSIS
4. Un/Settling Family-Nation-Work-Nature: from austerity to pandemic
5. The Social Relations of Welfare: subjects, agents, activists
6. Intersections in the Transnational, Social and Political Economy of Care
PART III PRAXIS
7. Towards an Eco-Welfare Commons: intersections of political ethics and prefigurative practices
8. Conclusion: multi-dimensional thinking for social policy
Appendix I Elaborating Family-Nation-Work-Nature and Welfare
Appendix II Situating the Author within Social Policy