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Book Review: The Origins of Active Social Policy: Labour Market and Childcare Policies in a Comparative Perspective

Since the mid 1990s, governments throughout Europe have invested massively in two areas: active labour market policy and childcare. The result, a more active welfare state, seems a rather solid achievement, likely to survive the turbulent post-crisis years. This book contains case studies of policy trajectories in seven European countries and advanced statistical analysis of spending figures. Giuliano Bonoli provides a rich and well-referenced […]

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Offshoring and Global Employment

How do globalization, economic growth and technological developments interact to impact employment? This Handbook brings together eminent authors from a wide range of countries to assess how global economic changes have affected employment opportunities. Chapters cover both manufacturing and services sectors, and also address policy issues regarding innovation and job creation. One of the book’s strengths is the inclusion of […]

Immigration to European countries makes natives happier and has a positive impact on their welfare.

Does immigration have a positive or negative impact on native populations? Nicole B. Simpson and William Betz have analyzed data on immigrant flows to 26 European countries between 2002, and have found that immigrants have a positive impact on the happiness and well-being of natives, especially after the first year. While the overall positive impact may be a small one, […]

Universities are crucial spaces to foster capabilities for the formation of social citizens in times of growing inequality

The value of the university cannot be reduced to a monetised figure. By drawing from human development discourse and the capabilities approach, Melanie Walker argues the university can be re-imagined in terms of its commitment to individual freedoms, social citizenship formation and social change. The university should have an active role, engaged in local and global spaces, to foster and support a just […]

Government’s inadequate assessment of the impact of cuts to disabled people is allowing the true human cost of austerity to go undetected

Eugene Grant argues that the government needs to start analysing the aggregate impact of a variety of spending cuts to disabled people, because serious and lasting damage is currently being done.   “It is simply not possible to deal with a budget deficit of this size without undertaking lasting reform of welfare”, asserted the Chancellor, George Obsorne, setting out the […]

The government has misrepresented research findings on ‘troubled families’, blaming the poor, not coalition policies, for rising poverty levels

The government’s use of multiple deprivation as a proxy for anti-social behaviour implies that poorer people are all potential criminals. Ruth Levitas argues that the government’s policies either illustrate a statistical incompetency or conceal rising levels of poverty spilling from government policy. The government recently launched its ‘Troubled Families Programme’. This offers payments by results to Local Authorities in England […]

There’s every reason to argue that it’s time to abolish the Monarchy. Britain can do so much better

Removed from the experience of ordinary Britons, and having made no gesture to show her empathy with the nation’s difficulties, this is a monarch thumbing her nose at her subjects, writes Andrew Child. The monarchy is damaging to foreign policy, undermines the concept of aspiration in social mobility and is used as a puppet of our politicians.  As “the nation” […]

Show – don’t tell: Political rhetoric is increasingly anecdotal but not particularly artful

Anecdotes have become one of the most common rhetorical devices in political speeches and debates to prove the success of policies or to illustrate that a leader is ‘down to earth’. Judi Atkins and Alan Finlayson explain why our politicians are ignoring Shakespeare and Keats and instead turning to ‘Holly from Southampton’ to prove their virtues. In the first of […]