Welfare State: An Introduction to Social Policy

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Free Essays - Social Policy Essays Modern welfare state development is generally considered to lead to social security or benefits payments, social housing provision, health provision, social work and educational services. Together these services are known as the 'big five ' but these services tend to develop over time and have differed in quantity, availability and quality. Provision and development can change due to social, economic and political factors (Spicker, 1995, p. 3). State provision of welfare has a long history, in Britain for instance dating back to the Elizabethan Poor Laws and earlier. Welfare states started to develop when surveys of poverty by people such as Charles Booth showed the inadequacy of welfare provisions…show more content…
There emerged new and radical liberalism that called for increased welfare provision and the emergence of limited welfare states. The British Liberal governments of 1906-1914 epitomized that approach by introducing state old age pensions and labour exchanges for the unemployed (Comfort, 1993, p. 347). In contrast Germany had already had a well-developed welfare state provision by 1900. Curiously Bismarck who wanted a healthy well-educated population drew up this system (M Donald Hancock et al, 1998, p.295). Two new liberals in the form of William Beveridge and John Maynard Keynes where the respective architects of the Atlee government 's comprehensive welfare state and postwar interventionist economic policies or Keynesian (Bellamy from Eatwell and Wright, 2003, p. 33). Beveridge had plenty of experience in welfare policy having being in charge of the labour exchanges and lecturing on economics at Oxford University and the London School of Economics. Keynes had been an economics adviser to the British government and inspired the New Deal programme in the USA (Crystal, 1998, pp. 105 & 523). Marxism was developed by Karl Marx in conjunction with Fredrich Engels and led to a second keynote theory of developing the welfare state. Of course Marx and Engels were not concerned with such issues as they wished to promote communism and work towards the working classes taking over economic and political power from the capitalist classes. A Marxist
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