Public Services and the Welfare State

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    Rethinking the impact of government expenditure and how it is accounted for

Rethinking the impact of government expenditure and how it is accounted for

David Walker sets out the case for a more devolved, accountable, and reliable public audit system, and offers ambitious proposals for unifying the way services are assessed. Such reforms could go a long way in restoring public trust in government credibility when it comes to expenditure.

A century ago, a distinguished LSE political scientist railed against auditors. To William A […]

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    The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit and the lived experience of benefit claimants

The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit and the lived experience of benefit claimants

Kate Summers and David Young challenge the assumed simplicity of Universal Credit by focusing on its single monthly payment design. They draw on two empirical studies of means-tested benefit claimants in order to explain how short-termism is a crucial tool for those managing social security benefits.
At its heart, Universal Credit is very simple

Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions […]

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    Austerity politics, global neoliberalism, and the official discourse within the IMF

Austerity politics, global neoliberalism, and the official discourse within the IMF

Is austerity a ‘dream come true’ for neoliberals, or did the global financial crisis force policymakers to question neoliberalism’s core principles and change direction? Focusing on speeches by members of the International Monetary Fund, Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving find little to suggest that the fundamental assumptions of neoliberalism have been displaced.

It is now over ten years since the […]

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    We need to talk about policy failure – and how to avoid it

We need to talk about policy failure – and how to avoid it

UK policymakers are not currently learning from failed policies, argues Bob Hudson. He explains some of the reasons why failure is so common in the first place and writes that such instances should be treated as opportunities through which to study and strengthen the policy process.

It has always been the case that the likelihood of policy failure is at […]

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    Universal Credit and the perspectives of ex-Jobcentre Plus staff

Universal Credit and the perspectives of ex-Jobcentre Plus staff

Universal Credit has attracted considerable criticism from experts and politicians. Yet could it be that it has also caused civil servants associated with the policy to leave their jobs? Kayleigh Garthwaite, Jo Ingold, and Mark Monaghan present findings from preliminary research with former personnel from Jobcentre Plus.

Throughout 2018, Universal Credit (UC) has been a prominent feature of political discussion, […]

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    Everyday authoritarianism: an anthropology of citizenship and welfare in austerity Britain

Everyday authoritarianism: an anthropology of citizenship and welfare in austerity Britain

Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Insa Koch explains how British citizens experience democracy and what grassroots understandings of politics and care they bring to their encounters with the state.

Liberal democracy appears in crisis. From law and order policies to austerity measures to the Brexit vote, commentators have rushed to explain the current conjuncture. But while many have argued over […]

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    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 […]

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    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 […]