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The Coalition Government and Social PolicyRestructuring the Welfare State$
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Hugh Bochel and Martin Powell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324560

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324560.001.0001

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The changing governance of social policy

The changing governance of social policy

(p.53) Three The changing governance of social policy
The Coalition Government and Social Policy

Catherine Bochel

Policy Press

From the 1980s there has been a steady shift from ‘government’ to ‘governance’, with an increased emphasis on the state setting a framework for many elements of social provision, but with services being delivered by the private or third sectors, or by communities and individuals. This chapter explores the use of a variety of mechanisms of governance of social policy under the Coalition government, and the early days of its Conservative successors. It assesses the relative influence of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties on coalition government policy. The chapter highlights the importance of the coalition government’s emphasis on reducing the public deficit through public expenditure cuts, and its attempts to encourage provision of services by new providers, many of which came, ultimately, from the private sector.The chapter also notes the growing divergence in approaches that have resulted from the devolution of powers to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Keywords:   Coalition government, Conservative government, Governance, Social policy, Devolution, Public expenditure

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