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Doing the right thing: Labour's attempt to forge a new welfare deal between the individual and the state

Heron, E and Dwyer, PJ 1999, 'Doing the right thing: Labour's attempt to forge a new welfare deal between the individual and the state' , Social Policy and Administration, 33 (1) , pp. 91-104.

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Abstract

This paper explores the rhetoric behind the Labour Government’s welfare reforms. Recent publications and statements emanating from the new administration indicate the extent to which Labour feels comfortable with notions of communitarianism and stakeholding. The influence and (potential) impact of these two concepts upon welfare policy is explored through the works of Macmurray, Etzioni, Hutton and, in spite of his departure from Government, Field. The paper argues that in attempting to create a welfare system based largely on conditions of work, set firmly within a framework of self-help and individual responsibility, Labour’s reform agenda is concerned with the establishment of a new moral order for welfare in which individuals are urged to “do the right thing”: that is, to take control of their own welfare and ultimately to be responsible for meeting their own needs whenever possible. The Government presents this attempt to forge a welfare settlement between the individual and the state as both new and inclusive. However, it is concluded that such claims are contentious as the Government’s “new” approach echoes old individualistic ideas about the causes and solutions to poverty, and may also result in the exclusion of some citizens from publicly financed welfare.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Justice Research
Journal or Publication Title: Social Policy and Administration
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0144-5596
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2011 15:34
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:45
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/12784

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