Public Services and the Welfare State

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    Transforming employment support for individuals with disabilities and health conditions

Transforming employment support for individuals with disabilities and health conditions

The UK’s recent Improving Lives Green Paper offers a window of opportunity for much-needed change in health-related unemployment. Its proposed reforms, however, are inadequate, writes Adam Whitworth. He highlights the central role of capacity, conditionality, and connectivity in bringing about genuine change.

Health-related unemployment and sickness absence are key challenges in the UK, as in many nations. At 32%, the […]

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    Are non-custodial sentences a credible and cost-effective substitute to incarceration?

Are non-custodial sentences a credible and cost-effective substitute to incarceration?

Nick Cowen, Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, and Juste Abramovaite analyse the effects of custodial and non-custodial sentences on recorded crime in England and Wales. Their results suggest that non-custodial sentences can be an effective alternative to custody when it comes to reducing property crime but their effect is less consistent when looking at violent crime.

As the criminal justice system struggles with […]

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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 […]