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Analysing social policy concepts and languageComparative and Transnational Perspectives$
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Daniel Béland and Klaus Petersen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306443

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306443.001.0001

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social policy concepts and language

(p.1) Introduction
Analysing social policy concepts and language

Daniel Béland

Klaus Petersen

Policy Press

This introduction chapter develops the overall framework for the following chapters. First, it demonstrates that there is a need to take a closer look at the development of key concepts in social policy language such as ‘welfare state’, ‘social security’, ‘welfare society’. The terms, metaphors, and concepts we use when studying social policy are far from innocent and are closely tied to political struggles and transnational processes. Therefore, from a comparative and international perspective, studying terminology and concept formation is an important part of both political and policy analysis. Second, the chapter discusses different approaches to the study of social policy concepts and language, including conceptual history, discourse analysis, and the role of ideas literature. Third, this introductory chapter outlines the structure and the content of the volume as a whole.

Keywords:   social policy, social policy language, discourse analysis, concept formation, ideas literature, conceptual history, welfare state, social security, welfare society, transnational processes

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