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British POW families, 1939–45

During the Second World War, some 250,000 British servicemen were taken captive either by the Axis powers or the Japanese, as a result of which their wives and families became completely dependent on the military and civil authorities for news of their loved ones and for financial and material support. This book outlines the nature of their plight, and shows how they attempted to overcome the particular difficulties they faced during and in the immediate aftermath of hostilities. It opens up a whole new area of analysis and examines the experiences of the millions of service dependents created by total war. Taking as its starting point the provisions made by pre-Second World War British governments to meet the needs of its service dependents, the book then goes on to focus on the most disadvantaged elements of this group – the wives, children and dependents of men taken prisoner – and the changes brought about by the exigencies of total war. Further chapters reflect on how these families organised to lobby government and the strategies they adopted to circumvent apparent bureaucratic ineptitude and misinformation. The book contributes to our understanding of the ways in which welfare provision was developed during the Second World War.

Open Access (free)
Tony Fitzpatrick

rather than information per se, but the aim is to construct an approach that resists these kind of priorities. Some expect biotechnology to supplant the petrochemical and nuclear industries as the industry of the twenty-first century (Rifkin, 1998). If so, then before we can begin to yield the benefits of this technology we must prepare to avoid the accompanying dangers. Yet what are those dangers? For welfare egalitarians, the key danger is that the biological reductionism which often seems to be driving the technology shifts attention away from social explanations of

in After the new social democracy
Author: Steven King

This book explores the experiences of the sick poor between the 1750s and through the so-called crisis of the Old Poor Law ending in the 1830s. It provides a comprehensive and colourful overview of the nature, scale and negotiation of medical welfare. At its core stand the words and lives of the poor themselves, reconstructed in painstaking detail to show that medical welfare became a totemic issue for parochial authorities by the 1830s. The book suggests that the Old Poor Law confronted a rising tide of sickness by the early nineteenth century. While there are spectacular instances of parsimony and neglect in response to rising need, in most places and at most times, parish officers seem to have felt moral obligations to the sick. Indeed, we might construct their responses as considerate and generous. To some extent this reflected Christian paternalism but also other factors such as a growing sense that illness, even illness among the poor, was and should be remediable and a shared territory of negotiation between paupers, advocates and officials. The result was a canvas of medical welfare with extraordinary depth. By the 1820s, more of the ill-health of ordinary people was captured by the poor law and being doctored or sojourning in an institution became part of pauper and parochial expectation. These trends are brought to vivid life in the words of the poor and their advocates, such that the book genuinely offers a re-interpretation of the Old Poor Law from the bottom up.

The influence of bureaucracy, market and psychology
Author: Nanna Mik-Meyer

Since the 1990s, European welfare states have undergone substantial changes regarding their objectives, areas of intervention and instruments of use. There has been an increasing move towards the prioritisation of the involvement of citizens and the participation of civil society. This book focuses on the altered (powerful) conditions for encounters between citizens and welfare workers. It uses the concept of soft power, which, inter alia, allows for the investigations of the ways in which individuals manipulate each other in an effort to achieve their desired goals. The first part of the book discusses extracts from state-of-the-art research on professions and expertise, and the perception of power that guides the analyses. It also discusses the overall theoretical positioning when analysing encounters between welfare workers and citizens as co-productive and interactionist. The second part presents analyses to show how a bureaucratic context affects the encounter between administrators and clients, and how a market context affects the encounter between service providers and consumers/customers. The analysis of how a psychology-inspired context affects the encounter between coaches and coaches is also provided. All three contexts are to be perceived as Weberian ideal types, in other words, theoretical constructs based on observations of the real world. The concluding part of the book emphasises on the role of the principles of the bureaucracy, the norms from psychology, and the values of the market in the welfare encounter. Key points of the book are summarised in the conclusion.

David Arter

8 The Nordic welfare model In Sweden, social security remains an issue constantly praised and held up for public worship…. It is celebrated without end in the mass media as if it were some hallowed religious dogma that it was vital to assimilate for peace of mind. It is taught at school like a religion. Above all, it is presented as a vital possession that, ever threatened, must constantly be defended, for its loss is the worst of all possible dangers. (Huntford 1975: 190) Where there is a reputation, there are invariably detractors and, as the opening

in Scandinavian politics today
Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

The Welfare State 2 ➤ Definition of the term ‘Welfare State’ ➤ What is included as part of the Welfare State ➤ Basic principles of the Welfare State ➤ The future of the Welfare State This short chapter is designed to introduce the subject of the Welfare State as a complete concept before we discuss some of its individual elements – education, health and social security – in further chapters. The origins and principles of the Welfare State will be discussed and the changing attitude of the parties and their policy makers to it will be traced. DEFINITION There

in Understanding British and European political issues
Michael Rush

1 Welfare, gender and fatherhood Introduction This chapter highlights a paradox within academic debates about national variations in the social politics of fatherhood. On the one hand, it portrays the mid-1970s as a turning point in the social politics of fatherhood; first, through the invention of exponentially punitive child support enforcement programmes by the USA in 1974 (Hansen, 1999), and second, through the introduction by Sweden of father-inclusive parental leave insurance schemes also in 1974 (Klinth, 2008). Yet, on the other hand, the chapter shows

in Between two worlds of father politics
Maternity care, social welfare benefits and family allowances
Caitríona Beaumont

4 Welfare rights for women: maternity care, social  welfare benefits and family allowances A lthough the MU, the CWL and NCW devoted considerable time and energy dealing with the contentious issues of divorce, birth control and abortion throughout the 1920s and 1930s, they never lost sight of the importance of other areas of social policy which had the potential to enhance the lives of women. Along with the WI and TG, these societies played an important and active role in highlighting the welfare needs of women, in particular wives and mothers. Campaigning for

in Housewives and citizens
Bill Jordan

Introduction Political theory has recently responded to the central questions about redistributive welfare systems – their justification, and the institutional means for implementing them – raised by the political economy of the past twenty-five years. In the post-war period, the consensus around sustaining minimum standards of income, health, education and housing assumed an entitlement to such

in Political concepts

Given the significant similarities and differences between the welfare states of Northern Europe and their reactions to the perceived 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the book focuses primarily on the three main cases of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Placed in a wider Northern European context – and illustrated by those chapters that also discuss refugee experiences in Norway and the UK – the Danish, Swedish and German cases are the largest case studies of this edited volume. Thus, the book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. First, we scrutinize the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. Second, we investigate refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and consider how these encounters shape hopes for building a new life after displacement. This allows us to show that the mobility of specific segments of the world’s population continues to be seen as a threat and a risk that has to be governed and controlled. Focusing on the Northern European context, our volume interrogates emerging policies and discourses as well as the lived experiences of bureaucratization from the perspective of individuals who find themselves the very objects of bureaucracies.