What's Wrong with Social Policy and How to Fix It
What's Wrong with Social Policy and How to Fix It
This book argues that the financial crash of 2008-9 has exposed the disastrous consequences of applying economic theory to the collective life of societies. In seeking to manage social relationships through incentives for individual gain, market-like menus of choices and business-style sets of interlocking contracts, the model adopted by the governments of the UK and USA has subverted the basis for social policy in mutuality and membership.

This has been demonstrated by growing inequalities, by failures and scandals in the social services, by the flat-lining of measured well-being (even during the boom years), by increases in a wide range of social problems, and by public disillusion over the effectiveness of policy programmes. In the post-crash world, the political culture needs to enable the expression of collective action for the benefits of interdependence, and to overcome the threats of ecological catastrophe and divisive ideology.
Only in this way can social policy be part of an inclusive global movement to restore faith in a politics of social justice.

Bill Jordan's up-to-date, passionate and engaging argument forges convincing links between a wide range of the troubling phenomena in the public life of our times.

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  • April 2010
  • 232 pages
  • 148 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $67.50
  • 9780745647401
  • Paperback $23.75
  • 9780745647418
Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction I

1 The problem 18

2 Income, credit and redistribution 44

3 Services and well-being 75

4 Global social policy 119

5 Sustainability – communities and the environment 154

6 Conclusions – transforming social policy 188

Notes and References 210

Bibliography 224

Index 244

About the Author
Bill Jordan is Professor of social Policy, School of Applied Psychosocial Studies at the University of Plymouth.
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"Passionately written, engaging and topical."
LSE Politics Blog

“A proactive, activist and passionate proposal fighting for restoring ‘faith in a politics of social justice”
International Sociology Reviews

"This trenchant critique shows how orthodox social policy, grounded in the neo-liberal economic model, is ill-designed to respond to the financial crisis. It should oblige all those dealing with British social policy to question the direction being taken."
Guy Standing, University of Bath

"Breaks important new theoretical ground for a social and community-nurturing vision in the new economic era."
Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland and author of America Beyond Capitalism

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