Robert Pinker has written extensively on social policy matters since the early 1960s. His distinct approach to understanding concepts such as welfare pluralism is of particular relevance today as welfare pluralism remains an essential component of the policy mix, giving people access to a greater range and diversity of statutory, voluntary, and private sector services than unitary models of welfare provide.
Social Policy and Welfare Pluralism presents the first collection of Robert Pinker’s essays in one edited volume. It includes essays on the ways in which welfare theories and ideologies and public expectations have influenced and shaped the political processes of policy making. Other essays focus on clarifying some of the key concepts that underpin the study of social policy. Pinker also reviews the extent to which the United Kingdom has succeeded in creating a ‘policy mix’ in which normative compromises are negotiated between the claims of market individualism and public sector collectivism. The concluding chapter by Robert Pinker reviews the prospects for social policy in the UK over the next five years.
“A remarkable collection of lectures and old and new essays by Professor Robert Pinker over the last several decades. John Offer does a masterful job curating Pinker’s work in light of changing social and policy contexts and ideas. These lectures are as relevant today as they were before, with each chapter calling readers to challenge and rethink status quo. This is a must read for students of and anyone interested in social policy.” Professor Ito Peng, University of Toronto
"This book helps to rediscover a key writer from the first generation of welfare state theorists, and might induce young readers to have a closer look at his classic contributions to welfare state theory... The volume mixes old and more recent contributions, published and unpublished ones, including three newly written chapters. What Pinker has to say is amazingly topical and reads fresh. Moreover, Pinker is a brilliant stylist, so one can enjoy reading this volume." Journal of Social Policy (Cambridge University Press)
"This eagerly anticipated volume exemplifies the significant role that Robert Pinker has played in enriching our understanding of social policy." Robert M Page, Reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy, University of Birmingham
"A key thinker on the welfare state, Robert Pinker has been unjustly neglected. This collection of his essays demonstrates what an omission that has been and offers the opportunity to rectify it – one that should be taken by all those interested in the development of social policy." Professor Sir Julian Le Grand, London School of Economics
John Offer is Professor of Social Theory and Policy at Ulster University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and was Chair of the Editorial Board of Sociology from 2011 to 2015. His An Intellectual History of British Social Policy was published by Policy Press in 2006.
Robert Pinker (1931-2021) held professorial posts at Goldsmiths College, Chelsea College and the London School of Economics. His academic publications included English Hospital Statistics, Social Theory and Social Policy, and The Idea of Welfare and he also wrote numerous essays on social policy matters from the early 1960s onwards.
Robert Pinker on Rethinking Approaches to Welfare ~ John Offer;
Part 1: Introduction to Part One: On Social Policy Studies;
The Ends and Means of Social Policy: A Personal and Generational Perspective;
Social Theory and Social Policy: A Challenging Relationship;
Stigma and Social Welfare;
The Welfare State: A Comparative Perspective (with an Afterthought by Robert Pinker);
Richard Titmuss and the Making of British Social Policy Studies after the Second World War: A Reappraisal (with an Afterthought by Robert Pinker);
Part 2: Introduction to Part Two: On Social Care, Communities, and the Conditions for Well-being;
Report of the Working Party on the Role and Tasks of Social Workers: An Alternative View;
The Quest for Community: From the Settlement Movement to the Griffith’s Report;
Citizenship, Civil War and Welfare: The Making of Modern Ireland;
Part 3: Introduction to Part Three: On Welfare Pluralism;
Golden Ages and Welfare Alchemists;
From Gift Relationships to Quasi-markets – An Odyssey along the Policy Paths of
Altruism and Egoism;
The Experience of Citizenship: A Generational Perspective;
The Right to Welfare;
The Prospects for Social Policy in the United Kingdom After the 2015 General Election ~ Robert Pinker.