Publishing with a purpose

Liberty, equality, fraternity

By Paul Spicker


6 Sep 2006

Page count

208 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
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Liberty, equality, fraternity

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Paul Spicker's new book takes the three founding principles of the French Revolution - Liberty, Equality, Fraternity - and examines how they relate to social policy today. The book considers the political and moral dimensions of a wide range of social policies, and offers a different way of thinking about each subject from the way it is usually analysed.

The book is in three main parts, one part devoted to Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in turn. Each part explores the elements and dimensions of the key concept, its application to policy, its interrelationship with the other two principles, and how policies have developed to promote the principle in society. The conclusion outlines three models of radical politics, based on the main concepts.


Liberty, equality, fraternity is an original, thought-provoking book, addressing perennial themes with many topical examples drawn from policy in practice, and offering distinctive insights into socialist and radical thinking.

"With 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' Spicker has eloquently reiterated the moral justification for the prescence of the state in the social policy domain." Journal of Social Policy, 2008.

"This book will prove to be an essential text for teachers and students of social policy. Professor Spicker analyses the complex issues of his subject matter with clarity, cogency and brevity and sets out, with commendable even-handedness, the dilemmas of choice that policy makers confront in the world of practical politics. The clarity of his exposition makes Liberty, equality, fraternity a pleasure to read." Robert Pinker, Emeritus Professor of Social Administration, London School of Economics and Political Science

Paul Spicker holds the Grampian Chair of Public Policy at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and is the Director of the Centre for Public Policy and Management. His research has mainly focused on issues related to poverty, need, disadvantage and service delivery, and he has undertaken a range of applied work on social welfare issues. Liberty, equality, fraternity is his twelfth book.

Introduction; Part One: Liberty: Liberty; Towards a free society; Part Two: Equality: Equality; Towards equality; Part Three: Fraternity: Fraternity and solidarity; The inclusive society; Conclusion: radical politics.

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