What is welfare? Why is it a key part of the ‘common good’ for all? And how should we go about providing it?
Pete Alcock, a well-respected expert, explains the challenges that collective welfare faces, and explores the complexities involved in delivering it, including debates about who benefits from welfare and how and where it is delivered. His primary focus is on the UK, including the problems of poverty and inequality, and how recent political and economic changes have undermined public investment; but he also draws on international examples from Europe and other OECD countries, such as the impact of private health care in the USA.
Why we need welfare is a call for new forms of collective action to meet welfare needs in the 21st century. It offers a fresh perspective on the key issues involved, and is a great introduction to this important and topical debate.
“Pete Alcock uses his enviable gift for simplifying complex narratives and ideas to redeem the very meaning of ‘welfare’ and explain how the much-maligned welfare state entails concerted action in the service of the common good.” Hartley Dean, London School of Economics
"This is an important book. It is a timely reminder of what the UK welfare state has achieved and what is currently at stake. It challenges us to secure the future." Jane Millar, University of Bath
“Undoubtedly a text for our times and a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of our welfare system, providing an antidote to neo-liberal thinking and a compelling case for collective investment in the common good.” Margaret May, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Birmingham
Pete Alcock is Professor of Social Policy and Administration at the University of Birmingham. Pete has taught and researched social policy for over thirty years, moving to Birmingham in 1998, where he has held a number of posts, including Head of the School of Social Sciences and Director of the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC). He is author and editor of a number of leading books on social policy including The Student’s Companion to Social Policy 5e (2016). His research has covered the fields of poverty and anti-poverty policy, social security, and the role of the UK third sector.
What do we mean by welfare?;
How should we deliver welfare?;
Where should planning and delivery take place?;
Who benefits from welfare?;
What challenges does welfare face?;
Conclusion: a new approach to collective welfare.