Public Services and the Welfare State

  • Permalink Gallery

    The future and quality of mental health services: the organising challenge ahead

The future and quality of mental health services: the organising challenge ahead

Despite being in decline, the quality of mental health services is largely absent from public debate. One of the reasons is the silencing of those delivering services, writes Elizabeth Cotton. She draws on data about conditions and wages to explain that there is a clear trend towards precarious work in the sector, and concludes by suggesting how to challenge […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    To meaningfully support carers, we must rethink their purpose and contribution

To meaningfully support carers, we must rethink their purpose and contribution

What does supporting carers mean in practice, and how can the government fulfil this mandate? Building on recent research commissioned by NHS England, Melanie Henwood, Mary Larkin, and Alisoun Milne explain that the narrative around carer support needs to be reframed.

Much of the prevailing discourse around ’supporting carers’ is presented in terms of enabling people to keep caring […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Despite the government’s U-turn, Universal Credit still has major problems

Despite the government’s U-turn, Universal Credit still has major problems

While the 2018 Budget proposals mitigate some of the risks of Universal Credit implementation and may help certain groups eligible for work allowances, they overall do little to offset the erosion in household incomes caused by welfare reforms, explains Dan Finn.

Universal Credit (UC) aims to simplify and modernise the income and employment support system for millions of households. The […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Micro-institutions in liberal democracies: what they are and why they matter

Micro-institutions in liberal democracies: what they are and why they matter

Liberal democracies combine core ‘macro-institutions’ (like free elections and control by legislatures) with swarms of supportive ‘micro-institutions’. By contrast, semi-democracies keep only the façade of macro-institutions, subverting a range of critical micro-institutions so as to make political competition and popular control a hollow sham. Drawing on a new book, Patrick Dunleavy explains why these developments mean that political science […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity

The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity

Drawing on spatial analysis of local authority budgets, Mia Gray and Anna Barford highlight the uneven impacts of UK austerity. They argue that it has actively reshaped the relationship between central and local government, shrinking the capacity of the local state, increasing inequality between local governments, and exacerbating territorial injustice.

Contemporary austerity in Britain has become both a powerful political […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    In-work conditionality is based on weak evidence – but will the policy sink or swim?

In-work conditionality is based on weak evidence – but will the policy sink or swim?

The public seem to be unaware of the poor evidence underpinning in-work conditionality, write Jo Abbas and Katy Jones. But research suggests that this policy is unfair and ineffective, and so once Universal Credit is rolled out, it could face resistance both from claimants and the wider public.

The government’s flagship benefit, Universal Credit (UC), sees the introduction of ‘in-work […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Disciplinary neoliberalism: coercive commodification and the post-crisis welfare state

Disciplinary neoliberalism: coercive commodification and the post-crisis welfare state

Fiona Dukelow and Patricia Kennett examine the post-2008 welfare states in Ireland, Britain, and the US. They explain how each of these countries experienced an acceleration in the operation of disciplinary neoliberalism – through punitive regimes of surveillance and sanctions – and consider the implications of these contemporary welfare policies.

The Great Recession saw the unravelling of a financialised […]

Why benefit sanctions are both ineffective and harmful

Drawing on the first major independent study of benefit sanctions, support, and behaviour change, Sharon Wright, Sarah Johnsen, and Lisa Scullion write that not only do sanctions not help move people into work, they also have a detrimental effect on their lives. This is because sanctions push recipients further into poverty and cause significant distress in the process, with […]