An Intellectual History of British Social Policy: Idealism by John Offer

By John Offer

The heritage of social coverage is rising as a space of starting to be curiosity to either scholars and researchers. This topical e-book charts the interval from the 1830s to the current day, delivering a clean research of the connection among social thought and social coverage within the united kingdom. diverse rules concerning the capability and goals of social coverage steered by means of Individualists, Idealists, and Fabian Socialists are tested extensive and their affects at the global of social coverage reassessed. unique attention is given to the historical past of principles with regards to casual care and voluntary motion, in addition to motion by way of the country. An highbrow background of British Social coverage presents a worthwhile framework that exposes some of the assumptions in regards to the nature of welfare and its destiny course whereas reconsidering and hard many long-held ideals concerning the evolution of social policy.?

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Extra info for An Intellectual History of British Social Policy: Idealism Versus Non-idealism

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44 Spencer and a liberal road to welfare: the eclipse of a vision A veto is therefore put on all public action which abstracts from some men part of the advantages they have earned, and awards to other men advantages they have not earned. (Spencer, 1891a, p 610) A reasonable inference from this passage must be that, provided equal work of equal quality can be demonstrated as having been furnished, the normal connections between acts and results must make it an injustice – a violation of entitlement – to discriminate in rates of remuneration between men and women or on grounds of race or ethnicity.

Lewis wrote to Head in April 1837 regarding the Irish Poor Law Bill, the refusal ‘of the express right to relief will be quite illusory: practice will establish what the legislature will not grant’ (Lewis, 1870, p 76). However, Whately had also described the labouring population as ‘not from any fault of their own, in permanent want’ (Third Report, 1836, p 5). Even his friend Senior found this statement unpalatable: I cannot admit that they are in want not from any fault of their own. If the Irish labourers allow their numbers to increase without any reference to the means of subsistence, a portion of them must every year, or at every unfavourable season, perish from want, and all of them be in a state of permanent distress, or apprehension of distress.

If the state did more than enforce this principle it interfered with the process of adaptation and acted unjustly. Hence Spencer’s opposition to a poor law, public health legislation and an established Church, and also his insistence on the same rights for men and women: he criticised compulsory sanitary reforms in the 1848 Public Health Act and other measures demanded by Chadwick, seeing public bureaucracies as inefficient and the measures as contrary to justice. The desired reforms would come about without such intervention through advances already occurring and reflecting the preferences of purchasers.

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