COVID-19 has transformed the British welfare state. The government has created millions of new beneficiaries, spent tens of billions of pounds it doesn’t have and created a mountain of public debt. And yet, when the crisis has passed, we will be left with all the old problems of welfare and well-being which we have systematically failed to address over the past 50 years.
In this book, Christopher Pierson argues that we need to think quite differently about how we can ensure our collective well-being in the future. To do this, he looks backwards to the welfare state’s origins and development as well as forwards, unearthing some surprising solutions in unexpected places.
“A lively, engaging and forthright analysis of the state of welfare in the early 21st century. For those who recognise the need for a new ‘strategy of equality’ this is the place to start.” Nick Ellison, University of York
“In this beautifully written book, one of the leading scholars of the British welfare state offers a probing look at its past, present and future.” Kimberly Morgan, George Washington University
"This short but profound book is a must-read for those interested in the future of the British welfare state after Brexit and COVID-19." Herbert Obinger, University of Bremen
"In this brilliant and erudite book, Pierson brings together two enduring strands of his work – the welfare state and the place of property in our society. It is a truly original analysis". Nick Manning, King's College London
"Chris Pierson's thoughtful new book discusses the experience of recent governments, guides us through the complexities of the issues and reviews democratic socialist theory for possible ways forward." Francis Castles, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
“Thoughtful, concise, and well-written, this excellent book is an essential read for everyone seeking to assess the past, present, and future of the welfare state in the UK” Daniel Béland, McGill University
1. Welfare in an age of austerity
2. The last social democratic welfare state
3. Back to the future, again
4. Future imperfect
5. COVID-19 and after