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The Welfare State in Britain
A Political History Since 1945
The Welfare State in Britain presents a history of British social policy from the election of Clement Attlee to the fall of Margaret Thatcher. 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 consolidated and undermined. He critically examines some of the theories drawn from political science which have been used to explain the growth of the welfare state in Britain. The so called 'crisis of the welfare state' that has dominated recent rhetoric is shown to have 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 will be essential reading for all students of social welfare and social policy as well as the political history of Britain since 1945.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'It is lucidly-written and is recommended as a good first-year student text for introductory courses in social policy.' -- Edwin Griggs, Political Studies 'This ambitious, but easily comprehensible, book looks at the political history of the welfare state starting at the end of the Second World War... What is useful here is the review of the welfare systems across the board to include employment, education, housing and social security all of which have an influence on health status.' -- Andrew Wall, Health Services Management 'The Welfare State in Britain provides a helpful chronology of the post-war development of the British welfare state. It will be a valuable guide for students for whom these origins must seem as distant as the Victorian Poor Law.' -- Allan Cochrane, Local Government Studies '... the textbook character of the book makes it an interesting contribution to the study of social policy development in Britain by putting a number of relevant policy changes into context and illumination some important causes in a clear and well written style.' -- Jochen Clasen, Loughborough University, UK 'Written in Hill's typically clear and accessible style, The Welfare State in Britain provides a useful commentary on the history of social policy... Although the book is aimed at students of social and public policy, students and teachers of public administration will find much of value in the lengthy chapter on the implementation issues of the social security system, including a useful overview of the subject of official discretion and the take-up of benefits.' -- Tony Butcher, Public Administration