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For Whose Benefit?The Everyday Realities of Welfare Reform$
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Ruth Patrick

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447333463

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447333463.001.0001

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Conclusion: social insecurity and ‘welfare’

Conclusion: social insecurity and ‘welfare’

(p.195) Conclusion: social insecurity and ‘welfare’
For Whose Benefit?

Ruth Patrick

Policy Press

This concluding chapter summarises the central argument of this book: that there is a considerable disjunct between citizenship from above, and citizenship as it is lived and experienced from below. The citizenship consequences of this disjunct are discussed, and the implications for the future social in/exclusion of those who rely on benefits for all or most of their income. Further, this chapter considers whether a call for greater social citizenship rights is still a pertinent and effective one, or whether instead social citizenship has been co-opted by the dominant work-based citizenship narrative from above. Although citizenship’s original emancipatory intent has been subverted by recent governments, there remains scope in calls for genuine and meaningful social inclusion and social rights that offer protection and support to all citizens. Here, there is particular potential in a focus on social security as a mechanism for addressing the pervasive insecurity that characterises everyday life. Policy makers also need to listen much more closely to those with the ‘expertise by experience’ that comes with living with poverty and welfare reform, and these voices need to be better incorporated into political and public debates.

Keywords:   insecurity, security, citizenship, social security, welfare, welfare reform

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