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Social policy review 27Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015$
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Zoë Irving, Zoë Irving, Menno Fenger, and John Hudson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322771

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322771.001.0001

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Towards the Welfare Commons

Towards the Welfare Commons

contestation, critique and criticality in social policy

(p.93) Five Towards the Welfare Commons
Social policy review 27

Fiona Williams

Policy Press

This chapter sets out the development of a critical perspective in the discipline of social policy, past, present and future. The first part goes back to the 1970s and 80s and identifies the distinctive methods and concepts to have emerged from the critical perspectives of the welfare state at that time. The second part reviews how critical analyses responded to the political and intellectual challenges of the 1990s and the new century, particularly those of neo-liberalism and post-structuralism, respectively. Part three proposes that, in considering how to develop a politically relevant critical perspective for the present, we might take a cue from contemporary forms of resistance and new thinking about the ethical, economic, social and ecological basis for future society. One argument is that we need ‘conceptual alliances’ that can connect to transformative alternatives for the future.

Keywords:   critical perspectives, social policy, resistance, welfare provision, future society, welfare commons

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