Handbook on Society and Social Policy
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Handbook on Society and Social Policy

Edited by Nicholas Ellison and Tina Haux

This comprehensive Handbook provides a unique overview of the key issues and challenges facing society and social policy in the twenty-first century, discussing how welfare is conceptualised, organised and delivered in contemporary global society. Chapters engage with specific areas of social policy as well as with the social divisions and institutional infrastructures that underpin them. The Handbook also considers how social policy should respond to the challenges posed by austerity, human migration and the climate crisis.
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Chapter 33: Social, corporate, occupational: the whole economy of welfare

Kevin Farnsworth


Most of the focus of academic analysis of welfare states is concerned with government and citizens as recipients of welfare services. Yet, welfare is about more than poor people and it is about more than what governments do. The poorest and the richest benefit from interventions by government. State provision to socialize risks is provided to citizens and private corporations. And collective social provision is paid for and provided by citizens, employers, charities and families. This chapter looks beyond the ‘mixed economy of welfare’ to focus on the ‘whole’ economy of welfare. It examines the delivery of welfare and asks for whom, and for what purpose, social, corporate and occupational welfare exist. It also considers the political and economic factors that directly and indirectly shape social policies and welfare policies and programmes.

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