An Intellectual History of British Social Policy

Idealism versus Non-Idealism

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Johm Offer

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

232 pages | © 2006
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781861345318 Published January 2006 For sale in North and South America only
The history of social policy is emerging as an area of growing interest to both students and researchers. This topical book charts the period from the 1830s to the present day, providing a fresh analysis of the relationship between social theory and social policy in the UK.Drawing on recent historical research, the book:·[vbTab]reconsiders and challenges many long-held beliefs about the 'evolution' of social policy;·[vbTab]presents a wide-ranging reappraisal of links between social theories and changes in social policy; ·[vbTab]pays particular attention to the importance of idealist social thought as an intellectual framework for understanding the 'welfare state' ; ·[vbTab]has a distinctive focus on the importance of ideas in the history of social policy.

1. 'Virtue' and the poor law in Britain and Ireland in the 1830s
2. Spencer and a liberal road to welfare: the eclipse of a vision
3. Free agent or 'conscious automaton'? The individual in Spencer's social theory
4. The case of older people: social thought and divergent prescriptions for care
5. Social policy and idealist versus non-idealist thought: the fundamental schism
6. Idealist thought, social policy and the rediscovery of informal care
7. Social theory and voluntary action in Britain since 1880
8. Epilogue: from poor law to Labour's 'new idealism'

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