What does collectivism mean in social policy? What does thinking collectively imply for policy?
In this book, well-respected author Paul Spicker lends a complementary voice to his Reclaiming Individualism, reviewing collectivism as a dimension of political discourse. Breaking down his analysis to examine collectivism through substantive, moral and methodological lenses, he reviews a series of arguments for cooperative effort, solidarity and collective responsibility. Taking a dispassionate and methodical approach, the author explores what collectivism means in social policy and what value it offers to the field.
“This book is both frustrating and highly engaging. Just as soon as the reader... starts to recognise left-wing progressive values of collectivism, Spicker provides examples of how collectivist approaches also support conservative and right-wing politics... this is an important book as it challenges assumptions about collective thinking while at the same time helping to clarify why and when ‘collective’ thinking is crucial…” Critical Social Policy
"Spicker has produced a thought provoking set of arguments and covers a wide range of varied literature which students should ﬁnd both accessible and valuable." Journal of Social Policy
“Paul Spicker asks how to think-with, live-with, and be-with collectives in this important new book which sees afresh the possibilities of collective life. Crucially, it also reinstates the significance of the common good and value of the common weal for social scientists and activists.” Stephen A. Webb, Glasgow Caledonian University
“This concise and well-written book is a compelling and timely reminder of the importance of collective action and political community.” Daniel Béland, McGill University
Paul Spicker is Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at Robert Gordon University; he works independently as a writer and commentator on social policy. His previous books on applied social theory include Liberty, equality, fraternity (2006), Reclaiming Individualism (2013), and Arguments for Welfare (2017).
Part I: Collectivism
Substantive collectivism: collectivism in practice
Methodological collectivism: social science and social policy
The individual and the collective
Part II: Collective action for the common good
Government and collective action
Policies for the common good
The common weal