Policy Press

Welfare and wellbeing

Richard Titmuss's contribution to social policy

Edited by Pete Alcock, Howard Glennerster, Ann Oakley and Adrian Sinfield


Oct 10, 2001

Page count

256 pages




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
Welfare and wellbeing

Richard Titmuss was Professor of Social Administration at the London School of Economics from 1950 until his death in 1973. His publications on welfare and social policy were radical and wide-ranging, spanning fields such as demography, class inequalities in health, social work, and altruism. Titmuss's work played a critical role in establishing the study of social policy as a scientific discipline; it helped to shape the development of the British Welfare State and influenced thinking about social policy worldwide.

Despite its continuing relevance to current social policy issues both in the UK and internationally, much of Titmuss's work is now out of print. This book brings together a selection of his most important writings on a range of key social policy issues, together with commentary on these from contemporary experts in the field.

The book should be read by undergraduate and postgraduate students in social policy and sociology, for many of whom Titmuss remains compulsory reading. It will be of interest to academics and other policy analysts as well as students and academics in political science and social work.

"... this edited volume is an excellent introduction to Titmuss's work and to his pioneering role in establishing the broad contours of the discipline." Journal of Social Policy

"This much-needed compilation provides an indispensable guide to the ideas of one of the 20th century's leading writers on social policy whose thinking continues to inform debates. It is essential reading for students and all those interested in the future of our welfare system." Margaret May, Chair UK Social Policy Association

"Richard Titmuss remains one of the leading scholars in the discipline of social policy. Much of his best work has been out of print for many years. This excellent collection of essays and commentaries fills a major gap in the literature." Robert Pinker, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Excellent. Liked the commentaries. Easy for students to find their way around." Shona Hunter, Institute for Women's Studies, Lancaster University

Pete Alcock is Professor of Social Policy and Administration and Head of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Birmingham; he has written widely about British social policy, including two leading textbooks.

Howard Glennerster is Professor of Social Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science; he is the author of many books on social policy, and a specialist in the financing of the social services. 

Ann Oakley is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of London Institute of Education and Richard Titmuss's daughter and literary executor; she has written and researched widely in the fields of gender, health and social science. 

Adrian Sinfield is Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh and past President of the Social Policy Association, and has a particular interest in unemployment and social security.

Contents: Introduction ~ Pete Alcock and Ann Oakley; Part One: The family, poverty and population: Commentary by ~ Ann Oakley; The nation's wealth; The summation of poverty; A measurement of human progress; The position of women; Part Two: The 'welfare state': Commentary by ~ Tania Burchardt; The welfare state: images and realities; The social division of welfare: some reflections on the search for equity; War and social policy; Unfinished business; Part Three: Redistribution, universality and inequality: Commentary by ~ John Hills; The role of redistribution in social policy; Welfare state and welfare society; Social welfare and the art of giving; Part Four: Power, policy and privilege: Commentary by ~ Adrian Sinfield; The irresponsible society; The need for a new approach; Part Five: International and comparative dimensions: Commentary by ~ Howard Glennerster; The international perspective; Developing social policy in conditions of rapid change: the role of social welfare; Part Six: The subject of social policy: Commentary by ~ Pete Alcock; The subject of social administration; What is social policy?; Values and choices.