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Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare StatesLegal, Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives on Justice and Domination$
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Anja Eleveld, Thomas Kampen, and Josien Arts

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340010

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340010.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2021

Questions of conduct and social justice: the ethics of welfare conditionality within UK social security

Questions of conduct and social justice: the ethics of welfare conditionality within UK social security

Chapter:
(p.189) 9 Questions of conduct and social justice: the ethics of welfare conditionality within UK social security
Source:
Welfare to Work in Contemporary European Welfare States
Author(s):

Peter Dwyer

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447340010.003.0009

A principle of welfare conditionality asserts that eligibility to basic, publicly provided, welfare benefits and services should be dependent on an individual first agreeing to meet particular compulsory responsibilities or patterns of behaviour. Drawing on data generated in 55 semi structured interviews, this chapter explores the competing normative/ethical frameworks that policy stakeholders use to justify their support for, or opposition to, the welfare conditionality that is now embedded in UK social benefit policy. Despite certain reservations about its ongoing, many policy stakeholders routinely support conditionality within social security systems through a combination of contractual and paternalistic ethical frameworks. The relative lack of narratives which assert entitlement to social security based on human rights or citizenship status is striking. It is concluded that the highly conditional, contractual/paternalistic vision of social security endorsed by the majority of policy stakeholders interviewed is incompatible with the Republican theories of non-domination.

Keywords:   conditionality, social security, rights, responsibilities, contractualism, paternalism, mutualism, entitlement, policy stakeholders

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