Social Policy
Social Policy, 3rd Edition

How do human societies provide for the wellbeing of their members? How far can we organize the ways in which we care for and about each other? And who should take responsibility for providing the support we need? These are some of the fundamental questions addressed by social policy today.

In this introduction, Hartley Dean explains the extraordinary scope and importance of social policy. He explores its foundations and contemporary significance; the principal issues it addresses and their diverse economic, political and sociological dimensions, and concludes by looking anew at fundamental challenges facing social policy in a dramatically changing world.

Introducing social policy as a broadly conceived study of human wellbeing, this revised and extensively updated third edition examines ways in which governments and peoples throughout the world attend to, promote, neglect or even undermine the things that make life worth living. These include essential services like healthcare and education; the means of livelihood – jobs and money – and sometimes intangible things such as physical and emotional security. Trying to understand these elements, which together constitute human wellbeing, is the stuff of social policy.

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  • November 2018 (hb)
    February 2019 (pb)
  • 176 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509524051
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509524068
  • Open eBook $18.99
  • 9781509524099
Table of Contents


List of Figures, Tables and Boxes



1 What is Social Policy?

2 Where did it Come From?

3 Why on Earth does it Matter?

4 What does Human Wellbeing Entail?

5 Who Gets What?

6 Who's in Control?

7 What's the Trouble with Human Society?

8 Can Social Policy Solve Social Problems?

9 How are the Times a-Changing?

10 Where is Social Policy Going?



About the Author

Hartley Dean is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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‘Hartley Dean’s passion for social policy shines through this work like a bright light. His lively and accessible book is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about the contemporary relevance of social policy and its possibilities in a changing world.’
Mary Daly, University of Oxford

‘A lively, very interesting and thought-provoking introduction to a subject that is of increasing concern to us all.’
Nick Ellison, University of York

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