Journal of Social Policy

Publisher: Social Administration Association (Great Britain), Cambridge University Press


Impact factor 1.11

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  • Other titles
    Journal of social policy (Online)
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  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Cambridge University Press

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    • Publisher last reviewed on 07/10/2014
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In 2011 the UK Coalition government introduced its flagship welfare-to-work programme, ‘The Work Programme’ (WP). Based on a ‘payment by results’ model, it aims to incentivise contracted providers to move participants into sustained employment. Employer involvement is central to the programme’s success and this paper explores the ‘two faces’ of this neglected dimension of active labour market policy (ALMP) analysis: employer involvement with the programme and the engagement between providers and employers. The paper draws empirically from a regional survey of primarily private and third sector SMEs and from interviews with providers and stakeholders about provider engagement with SMEs and large employers. Findings indicate that SMEs had recruited few staff through the WP and had little awareness of it and that providers engaged in intense competition to access both SMEs and large employers. Employers are critical to the success of ALMPs, but an underpinning supply-side ideology and a regulatory context in which business interest associations are weak policy actors means that their involvement is based on implicit and flawed assumptions about employers’ interests and their propensity to engage.
    Journal of Social Policy 01/2015;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the context of the new auto-enrolment requirements for employers to make pension provision for their employees, and the importance of trust in pension provision, this article utilises data from Scottish Social Attitudes Data which in its 2005 survey of questions asked correspondents specific questions regarding pension provision. We integrate two different empirical approaches in order to achieve a more robust understanding of pension confusion in Scotland. We find that pension confusion is dominated by pension uncertainty and myopia but may be reduced by working in the financial services sector. We consider the implications of these findings for the relationship of trust between employers and their employees, as well as for government pension policy more generally.
    Journal of Social Policy 07/2014; 43(3):595-613.
  • Journal of Social Policy 06/2014; 43(02):247-267.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Within Europe, the Norwegian and English welfare states represent two different welfare regimes. Due to common demographic challenges of an ageing population as well as grassroots pressures, particularly from disabled people, significant changes in the delivery of longterm care services for older and disabled people have taken place. This article focuses on the change towards personalisation policies encouraging greater choice and control in regard to care services, and uses the case of ‘cash-for-care’, which gives people an allocation of funding tomeet their needs, to discuss conditions and implications of personalisation policies within different contexts. Based on a theoretical framework exploring a democratic and a market discourse of personalisation policies, the article provides a comparative analysis of the Norwegian and English cash-for-care schemes. While a crucial common change in the public sector’s role towards at-arm’s-length long-termcare services occurred, significant differences remain: while English residents are given greater choice and control from the beginning of the allocation of cash-for-care they also face more insecure circumstances due to the simultaneously stimulated care provider market. The Norwegian case, however, shows a possibility of increasing choice and control without a large diversity in a care provider market.
    Journal of Social Policy 05/2014;
  • Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rising prison numbers and high rates of re-offending illustrate the need for criminal justice reform. In the social care sector, the ‘personalisation revolution’ has resulted in the near eradication of long-term, institutional care for the majority of people with disabilities and many frail older people, increasing satisfaction. This paper examines what this has entailed and considers the case for introducing personalisation in the criminal justice system. It concludes that criminal justice reformers can learn from the social care experience and suggests how personalisation might fit within the current criminal justice reform agenda. However, introducing personalisation will pose significant challenges, perhaps the biggest being the need to change criminal justice culture.
    Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Meetings between advisers and claimants are central to many welfare-to-work programmes. These ‘street-level’ exchanges between clients and staff are critical to the implementation of policy. When talking to welfare claimants, it becomes clear that contact with welfare bureaucrats is constitutive of their experience of policy and it is not until parent and adviser meet and negotiate that the policy is truly enacted. The policy comes into being through an exchange between advisers and parents, who interact, albeit unequally, to shape the proceedings. This paper examines the experience of parents claiming income support who faced compulsory employment measures. Drawing on research with claimants of teenage children, I examine the adviser meeting as an interpellative interaction. The state addresses mothers as workers and welfare claimants in an interpellation which is mediated by the adviser in dialogue with the mother. This analysis demonstrates how the notion of interpellation can inform research on street-level interactions.
    Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ‘unitary household’ lives on in policymakers’ assumptions about couples sharing their finances. Yet financial autonomy is seen as a key issue in gender relations, particularly for women. This article draws on evidence from semi-structured individual interviews with men and women in thirty low-/moderate-income couples in Britain. The interviews explored whether financial autonomy had any meaning to these individuals; and, if so, to what extent this was gendered in the sense of there being differences in men's and women's understanding of it. We develop a framework for the investigation of financial autonomy, involving several dimensions: achieving economic independence, having privacy in one's financial affairs and exercising agency in relation to household and/or personal spending. We argue that financial autonomy is a relevant issue for low-/moderate-income couples, and that women are more conscious of tensions between financial togetherness and autonomy due to their greater responsibility for managing togetherness and lower likelihood of achieving financial independence. Policymakers should therefore not discount the aspirations of women in particular for financial autonomy, even in low-/moderate-income couples where there remain significant obstacles to achieving this. Yet plans for welfare reform that rely on means testing and ignore intra-household dynamics in relation to family finances threaten to exacerbate these obstacles and reinforce a unitary family model.
    Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Defining asset poverty as insufficiency of assets to satisfy household basic needs for a limited period of time, the study examines asset-poverty rates in urban China using the 2002 survey data from the Chinese Household Income Project (CHIP). We find that asset-poverty rates in urban China are lower than those of developed countries, in part due to Chinese households’ strong commitment to precautionary savings and the low poverty standards. However, the liquid asset-poverty rate is five times that of the income-poverty rate in urban China. Notably, the asset-poverty-gap ratio shows that most households in asset poverty have zero liquid assets or negative net worth. Asset building could be an integral part of the anti-poverty agenda to protect the poor from economic hardship and provide them with opportunities for economic growth.
    Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Work Programme's use of severe social security benefit sanctions reflects British coalition ministers’ belief that many people on out-of-work benefits do not want a job. While a substantial empirical literature has repeatedly demonstrated that in fact unemployed benefit claimants possess the same work values as the employed and that the vast majority want paid work, it has ignored some conservative authors’ pleas to consider the views and experiences of people who work with the unemployed. Forty employees of agencies contracted to help unemployed people into employment were interviewed in summer 2011. Respondents had spent an estimated combined total of 147,000 hours in the presence of people who have claimed Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for over six months. Most said that between a quarter and half of their present clients did not want employment. This finding does not contradict existing research, given that most JSA claimants re-enter employment within six months. However, all forty agreed that many others remained unemployed because they were choosy in the jobs they were willing to undertake, and, most strikingly, respondents overwhelmingly endorsed the view that a ‘dependency culture’ exists in households and neighbourhoods that have experienced joblessness for several generations.
    Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of behavioural economics to inform policy has over recent years been captured by those who advocate nudge interventions. Nudge is a non-regulatory approach that attempts to motivate individual behaviour change through subtle alterations in the choice environments that people face. It is argued in this article that government interventions ought to be more overt than that traditionally advocated by nudge adherents, and that governments should principally attempt to influence behaviour if the acts of those targeted are causing harm to others. With this in mind, governments can use the findings of behavioural economics, including present bias and loss aversion, to inform where and how to regulate directly against undesirable private sector activities. This behavioural economic-informed method of regulation is hereby termed budge, to indicate that, rather than nudging citizens, behavioural economics might be used more appropriately in the public sector to help inform regulation that budges harmful private sector activities.
    Journal of Social Policy 10/2013; 42(04).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A consensus has developed in political and also media circles that in Britain over recent decades social mobility has been in decline. According to the consensus view, as construed in political circles, educational policy is seen as the crucial instrument for increasing mobility. This article shows how the consensus emerged from the research of a group of economists into intergenerational income mobility. It is argued that, primarily on account of various limitations of the available data, the economists’ finding of declining mobility is open to question; and, further, that, because no explicit distinction is made in their work between absolute and relative rates of mobility, its reception, among politicians especially, has been attended by considerable confusion. An alternative to the consensus view is put forward, based on extensive research by sociologists into social class mobility, which is seen as better capturing the intergenerational transmission of economic advantage and disadvantage. This research indicates that the only recent change of note is that the rising rates of upward, absolute mobility of the middle decades of the last century have levelled out. Relative rates have remained more or less constant back to the inter-war years. According to this alternative view, what can be achieved through education, whether in regard to absolute or relative mobility, appears limited.
    Journal of Social Policy 07/2013; 42(03).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The role of the emotions in the framing of welfare policies is still relatively underexplored. This article examines the role of resentment in the construction of a particular form of ‘anti-welfare populism’ advanced by the Coalition Government in the UK after 2010. We argue that UK political parties have appropriated the discourse of fairness to promote fundamentally divisive policies which have been popular with large sections of the electorate including, paradoxically, many poorer voters. In focus group research in white working class communities in the UK undertaken just before the 2010 General Election, resentments related to perceived unfairness and loss emerged as very strong themes among our respondents. We examine such resentments in terms of an underlying ‘structure of feeling’ which fuels the reactionary populism seen in ‘anti-welfare’ discourses. These promote increasingly conditional and punitive forms of welfare in countries experiencing austerity, such as the UK, creating rivalries rather than building solidarities amongst those who ‘have little’ and drawing attention away from greater inequalities.
    Journal of Social Policy 07/2013; 42(03).