With the ideological shift to neoliberalism and the introduction of austerity measures following the Global Recession, the UK has experienced divestment in the National Health Service, growing food bank use, increasing housing problems and growing inequities in access to digital services. These inequities have been both highlighted and compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questioning the ideology that economic growth should be prioritised above all else, this book demonstrates that an alternative approach to social policy, based on human rights and social justice, is necessary to tackle the existing systemic inequalities brought to the foreground by COVID-19.
Amy Clair is a Research Fellow in the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change at the Institute for Economic and Social Research, University of Essex.
Jasmine Fledderjohann is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow.
Bran Knowles is a Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University's Data Science Institute and based in the School of Computing and Communications.
Introduction: Human rights, social policy and the COVID-19 pandemic
The right to medical care
The right to food
The right to housing
The right to necessary social services: Digital technology
Where next for social policy