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What is Social Policy?. Edition No. 1. Political Sociology

  • ID: 5228038
  • Book
  • August 2010
  • 224 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
From housing, pensions and family benefits, to health care, unemployment insurance and social assistance, the welfare state is a key aspect of our lives. But social programs are contested political realities that we can't hope to understand without locating them within the "big picture."

This book provides a concise political and sociological introduction to social policy, helping readers to grasp the nature of social programs and the political struggles surrounding them. It takes a broad comparative and historical viewpoint on the United States, using an international perspective to contextualize American social policy within the developed world. Provocative and engaging, it offers insight into a wide range of social policy issues such as: welfare regimes, welfare state development, the politics of retrenchment and restructuring; the relationship between social programs and various forms of inequality; changing family and economic relations; the role of private social benefits; the potential impact of globalization; and debates about the future of the welfare state.

What is Social Policy? will be stimulating reading for upper-level students of sociology, political science, public policy, and social work.

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List of Tables vi

Preface & Acknowledgements vii

Introduction 1

1 Social Policy and the Welfare State 9

2 The United States in International Context 44

3 Welfare State Development 66

4 Retrenchment and Restructuring 93

5 Looking Challenges 120

Conclusion 151

Notes 157

References 161

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Daniel Beland University of Saskatchewan.
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