With new devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, this book makes a comprehensive assessment of the impact of devolution on social policy. It provides a study of developments in the major areas of social policy and a full comparison between Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. To what extent is it valid to speak of agendas for government driven by social policy? With new governments in each country, has a fresh dynamic been given to the emergence of distinct social policies?
"The impact of devolution on social policy" uses a framework of analysis based on the nature and scope of social policies, ranging from major innovations and policy distinctiveness, to differences in implementation, policy convergence and areas of overlap with UK policies. This framework facilitates an integrated analysis and comparison of social policy developments and outcomes between the four UK nations. An assessment is also made of the ideas and values which have driven the direction of social policy under devolution.
With devolution becoming increasingly important in the study of social policy, the book will be of key interest to academics and students in social policy, public policy and politics, and will also be a valuable resource for practitioners involved in policy making.
"Most useful for all those scholars and students interested in social policy, public policy and politics and, in general, welfare development. This volume is also to be welcomed by practitioners engaged in the design and implementation of policies and actions to advance social citizenship." Regional and Federal Studies journal
"Even among so-called devolution experts how many of us have really engaged in detail with recent policy developments in all three systems? Derek Birrell has done an immense service by showing us how the British welfare state as a whole can learn from the adaptations and divergences that devolution has brought." Richard Parry, Reader in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
Derek Birrell is a professor of social policy in the School of Policy Studies at the University of Ulster. He has written extensively and carried out research on government of Northern Ireland, devolution, health and social care, the voluntary sector and cross-border cooperation.
Contents: The devolution of social policy powers; The tradition of devolved social policy; Structures of governance for social policy; Divergence in social policies; Convergence in social policy; Ideology and values; Outcomes; Conclusion and future.