Understanding social security (Second edition)

Issues for policy and practice

Edited by Jane Milar

Understanding social security (Second edition)

Edited by Jane Milar

Distributed for Bristol University Press

344 pages | © 2009
Cloth $86.00 ISBN: 9781847421876 Published February 2009 For sale in North and South America only
In an increasingly risky world the need for social security support is greater than ever. Benefits and tax credits aim to provide protection against economic risks, help families with the costs of bringing up children, enable people to save for retirement, and provide support in old age. Key goals are to redistribute income to alleviate poverty and help people maintain living standards across the lifecourse. Reform of the social security and tax systems has been at the heart of the UK Labour government’s aspirations to modernise the welfare state since 1997 with major changes in both policy and administration. This second edition of the important text, Understanding Social Security, reviews these policy developments, giving readers the information and analytical tools to make sense of policy debates and reforms and to evaluate options for the future. The chapters have been extensively updated since the first edition, with new chapters on social security reform, inequalities and social security, and the new ’welfare market’. The main topics covered include:·[vbTab]the social security safety net·[vbTab]racism, ethnicity, migration·[vbTab]social security governance·[vbTab]global social security·[vbTab]social security and the life course ·[vbTab]the challenge of childhood poverty ·[vbTab]reforming pensions ·[vbTab]welfare to work ·[vbTab]sickness, incapacity and disability ·[vbTab]tax credits·[vbTab]service delivery information technologyThe book provides a critical examination of social security policy and practice and is essential reading for students of social policy, social work and sociology, as well as policy-makers and practitioners in the fields of social security, welfare-to-work, employment, anti-poverty strategies and welfare rights. It will be of interest to those interested in recent policy developments in these areas, emerging issues and debates, and in wider issues of the modernisation of the welfare state.

Detailed contents

List of tables, figures and boxes


List of abbreviations

Notes on contributors                                                  

1              Introduction: the role of social security in society

                Jane Millar

Part One: Foundations and contexts

2              Social Security: reforms and challenges

                Fran Bennett and Jane Millar

3              Inequalities and social security

                Tania Burchardt

4              Life beyond work? Safety nets and ‘security for those who cannot’ work

                Richard Silburn and Saul Becker

5              Racism, ethnicity, migration and social security

                Ian Law

6              Governing social security: from protection to markets

                Emma Carmel and Theodoros Papadopoulos

7              Social security in global context

                Nicola Yeates

Part Two: Lifecourse and labor markets

8              ‘From cradle to grave’: social security and the lifecourse

                Karen Rowlingson

9              Benefiting children? The challenge of social security support for children

                Tess Ridge          

10            Reforming pensions: investing in the future

                Stephen McKay

11            Welfare to work

                Sharon Wright

12            Sickness, incapacity and sickness

                Roy Sainsbury

13            Tax Credits

                Jane Millar

Part Three: Users and providers

14            Service delivery and the user

                Bruce Stafford

15            The ‘welfare market’: private sector delivery of benefits and employment services

                Dan Finn

16            Social security and information technology

                John Hudson




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