The 2008 global economic crisis was unprecedented in living memory and its impact on economic and social life immense. Large-scale social policy interventions played a crucial role in helping to mediate the crisis, and yet the welfare state continues to come under attack. A new age of austerity, based more on politics than economics, is threatening to undermine the very foundations of the welfare state.
However, as this important book illustrates, there is still room for optimism - resistance to the logic of austerity exists within organisations and governments, and among peoples, demonstrating how essential social policies remain to human progress.
The second of a three-book series covering the post-2008 global economic crisis and the period of austerity, this volume draws together edited chapters from leading scholars engaged in the debate and will be equally suitable for academics and other researchers studying international and comparative social policy, as well as upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving are both senior lecturers in international social policy at the University of York, UK. Kevin has published widely on issues relating to the political economy of social policies and welfare states. Zoë has previously published on social policy development in small island states. Together they are co-editors of Social Policy in Challenging Times (Policy Press, 2011) and the Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy.
Introduction: social policy in the age of austerity ~ Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving;
Austerity: more than the sum of its parts ~ Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving;
Conventional wisdom on government austerity: UK politics since the 1920s ~ Michael Hill;
The economics of austerity ~ Stephen Mcbride;
Neoliberalism, finance-dominated accumulation and enduring austerity: a cultural political economy perspective ~ Bob Jessop;
Alternatives to austerity ~ Dexter Whitfield and John Spoehr;
Crisis, convulsion and the welfare state ~ Frances Fox-Piven and Lorraine Minnite;
Conclusion: a new politics of welfare ~ Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving.
"[The editors] are tackling an important agenda when they bring together a range of contributions on different aspects of the idea and practice of austerity." Citizen's Income Newsletter
"This is sure to be an influential book on the contemporary literature on the politics of austerity. Featuring insightful contributions by some of the foremost theorists in social policy, the book offers a remarkably powerful analysis of governments’ recent overhauls of social policies.” Dr Lavinia Mitton, University of Kent
"A timely, thought-provoking collection of critical scholarship which helps to better understand the ideology, politics and economics of austerity in contemporary welfare states and presents the reader with alternatives to the standard policy prescriptions of today." Professor Peter Starke, University of Southern Denmark