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In the Name of Liberalism : Illiberal Social Policy in the USA and Britain - Desmond King

In the Name of Liberalism

Illiberal Social Policy in the USA and Britain

Paperback Published: 1st December 1999
ISBN: 9780198296294
Number Of Pages: 360

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Why have British and North American governments adopted illiberal social policies during this century? In the Name of Liberalism investigates examples of social policy in Britain and the United States that conflict with liberal democratic ideals. The book examines the use of eugenic arguments in the 1920s and 1930s, the use of work camps in the 1930s as a response to mass unemployment and the introduction of work-for-welfare programs since the 1980s. The book argues that existing accounts of American and British political development neglect how illiberal social policies are intertwined in the creation of modern liberal democratic institutions. Such policies are, paradoxically, justified in terms of the liberal democratic framework itself. In the light of the books research, the author suggests that there is a need to know more about the internal workings of democracies to justify the claim that liberal democracy represents the most attractive set of political institutions.

Industry Reviews

`King provides a much needed corrective to unequivocal celebrations of liberal democracy in his masterly account of the development of twentieth-century social policies which clearly violate the liberal principles of equal treatment of individuals and personal freedom' Work, Employment & Society, Vol 15, No.2, 2001 `significant observations about the nature of social policy and the environment in which it is determined' Work, Employment & Society, Vol 15, No.2, 2001 `substantial and important ... well-written and informative' Work Employment & Society, Vol 15, No.2, 2001 `scrupulous historical research and careful attention to political science theory' Governance (Vol 14, 2001) `remarkably broad scope and a rich grasp of both theoretical and empirical scholarship' Journal of Political Ideologies (2001) `superb' Journal of Political Ideologies (2001) `fascinating material' Patrick Ireland, The Journal of Politics, Vol 63, Number 3 `penetrating and illuminating research ... King's study required a formidable research effort in which primary data from public records in Britain and the United States were consulted. The result is an oustanding contribution to our understanding of the liberal tradition and social policies in the two countries.' Malcolm Shaw, Democratization, Vol.8, 2001 `grounded in solid documentary research' Comparative Politics `well-researched' Kent Worcester, Political Science Quarterly `This remarkably rich book ... adopts a sophisticated approach ... an excellent (and all too rare) example of combining social science analysis, major political and social issues and detailed empirical evidence to offer a fascinating and coherent study.' Mark Thatcher, West European Politics, Vol.23, No. 4, Oct.2000. `a major study ... draws on a remarkable range of primary and secondary material and is highly readable ... The breadth of the book, the issues it tackles and its findings make it an outstanding piece of research that will be widely read and appreciated.' Mark Thatcher, West European Politics, Vol.23, No. 4, Oct.2000. `A thoroughly researched and cogently argued work of comparative history of social policy. It is timely in a society concerned about 'welfare to work' and 'asylum seekers'.' Michael Rose, The Economic Hist. Rev. Vol.LIII, No. 4, Nov. 2000. `'Welfare to Work' is just one of several case studies used by Desmond King in this scholarly account of how seemingly liberal western democracies slip easily into 'illiberal' social policies targeted at certain of their citizens. The sweep and scope of King's book is wide as we might expect from a distinguished academic researcher. THe book is thoroughly researched, elegantly written, and acts as a useful source book for further study. Is it of value to social workers or social work students? Unquestionably yes. This book should be compulsory reading for those social work students each year... who when asked in a seminar what they would do in a given situation, simply reply 'At this point I'd ask my team leader'' Terry Thomas, British journal of Social Work Vol.30 No.2

PART 1. POLITICS, POLICY MAKING AND IDEAS. 1: Liberalism and Illiberal Social Policy 2: Liberal Democracy and Policy-Making: Knowledge and the Formation of Social Policy PART 2. LIBERAL UNREASON 3: Cutting off the Worse: Voluntary Sterilisation in Britain in the 1930s 4: The Gravest Menace?: Eugenics and American Immigration Policy PART 3. LIBERAL AMELIORATION AND COLLECTIVISM 5: Reconditioning the Unemployed: the Labour Camps in Britain 6: This Kind of Work Must Go On: The US Civilian Conservation Corps PART 4. THE LIBERAL COERCIVE CONTRACT 7: Aroused Like One From Sleep: From New Poor Law to Workfare in Britain 8: A Second Chance, Not a Way of Life: Welfare as Workfare in the US PART 5. COONCLUSION 9: The Future of Social Citizenship

ISBN: 9780198296294
ISBN-10: 0198296290
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 360
Published: 1st December 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.53