This textbook uses political theory to explain the growth of welfare in post-war Britain with special emphasis on social policy. Michael Hill focuses upon the political processes which influenced the key reforms of the late 1940s, and the ways in which those reforms have subsequently been in some respects consolidated and in other respects undermined. The so called "crisis of the welfare state" that has dominated recent rhetoric, has its origins in the very period when the welfare state was believed to have been created. Despite its importance for electoral politics, social policy is shown to have often been subordinate to economic and foreign policy. The book should be useful reading for all students of social welfare and social policy as well as the political history of Britain since 1945.