Social Policy: An Introduction

Social Policy: An Introduction

Social Policy: An Introduction

Social Policy: An Introduction


"This is something of a best seller and it is easy to understand why. It will serve the needs of both Level 1 and other students of social policy well [and] it carries off the exploration of specific theoretical issues within discrete policy areas particularly well."
Social Policy & Administration

"This is an extremely useful updated text for students of social policy and other related areas, such as social work. The book is clearly written and enables students to develop an understanding of how and why social policies are constructed. Key points are well made and highlighted examples/boxes are provided in the text. There is reference made at the end of each chapter to further reading."
Bernard Melling, University of Salford
Social Policybuilds on the strengths of the highly respected first and second editions to offer a broad introduction to current developments in social policy and welfare. Comprehensive, readable and thought-provoking, this is the standard introductory book on social policy in the UK. It provides a framework for exploring key questions such as:

  • What are social policies?
  • How are social policies created and implemented?
  • Why do certain policies exist?
This revised edition has been expanded and thoroughly updated to reflect the latest developments in the fields of social policy and welfare. It includes:
  • A new chapter on criminal justice
  • Revised chapters on education, community and social care, and health
  • An updated and expanded glossary of key terms and annotated further reading including websites
  • Annotated further reading- including websites
Social Policy is essential reading for students beginning or building on their study of social policy or welfare. The book is also suitable as a reference resource for practitioners and professional policy makers in fields including health, medicine and nursing, housing, social services and counselling, education, law and criminology.


This third edition of Social Policy: An Introduction has been revised throughout to take account of policy changes and developments since the second edition, published in 2003. The framework of the book is substantially that of the earlier edition, but some new material has been incorporated, mainly in the form of a chapter on criminal justice policy (Chapter 4). This has the purpose of providing a brief introduction to comparative analysis, supplementing the section on different models of social policy in Chapter 3. It also serves to introduce students to an area of public policy which is the subject of lively interest at the present time, as well as overlapping to some extent with social policy.

Four more years of New Labour government since the previous edition provide an opportunity to explore the extent to which that government has made a difference to social policy and general well-being, and to provide a clearer picture of its achievements and failures. To that extent the book attempts, as did its predecessors, to provide a commentary on current developments, as well as providing a foundational account of welfare institutions and policies for the beginner.

The aims of this book, like those of its predecessors, are simple: to offer a text that can be consulted briefly for single items or insights, but also to offer a piece of writing about social policy that you, the reader, might enjoy reading chapter by chapter. Let's hope that you agree.

Ken Blakemore

Edwin Griggs . . .

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