`I would encourage undergraduates students to read it, for it does summarise well a classical Marxist analysis of social policy and welfare' - Social Policy The anti-capitalist movement is increasingly challenging the global hegemony of neo-liberalism. The arguments against the neo-liberal agenda are clearly articulated in Rethinking Welfare. The authors highlight the growing inequalities and decimation of state welfare, and use Marxist approaches to contemporary social policy to provide a defence of the welfare state. Divided into three main sections, the first part of this volume looks at the growth of inequality, and social and environmental degradation. Part Two centres on the authors' argument for the relevance of core Marxists concepts in aiding our understanding of social policy. This section includes Marxist approaches to a range of welfare issues, and their implications for studying welfare regimes and practices. Issues covered include: · Class and class struggle · Opression · Alienation and the family The last part of the book explores the question of globalization and the consequences of international neo-liberalism on indebted countries as well as the neo-liberal agenda of the Conservative and New Labour governments in Britain. The authors conclude with the prospect of an alternative welfare future which may form part of the challenge against global neo-liberalism.
‘A System Designed not for Yesterday, but for Today’: New Labour and Welfare
In May 1997, New Labour were elected to government on the back of a wave of popular resentment against 18 years of Conservative rule. ‘Things,’ they told us, ‘could only get better,’ and with a relatively strong economy and a huge majority of 179 expectations were high. The sense of euphoria accompanying that election victory is well captured in a sympathetic evaluation of New Labour's first term of office:
Strangers embraced: ‘Where were you when Portillo lost?’ A seventy-year-old woman brought a red rose for Tony Blair – ‘If I live to be a hundred there'll never be another day like ...