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    ABSTRACT: This paper raises questions about bioethical knowledge and the bioethical 'expert' in the context of contestation over methods. Illustrating that from the perspective of the development of bioethics, the lack of unity over methods is highly desirable for the field in bringing together a wealth of perspectives to bear on bioethical problems, that same lack of unity also raises questions as to the expert capacity of the 'bioethicist' to speak to contemporary bioethics and represent the field. Focusing in particular on public bioethics, the author argues that we need to rethink the concept of bioethicist, if not reject it. The concept of the bioethicist connotes a disciplinary or theoretical unity that is simply not present and from the perspective of public policy, it is incredibly misleading. Instead, bioethical expertise would be a capacity of a broader community, and not an individual. Such a conception of bioethics as an expert community rather than as an individual capacity, focuses our attention on the more functional question of what knowledge and skill set any individual possesses.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Health Care Analysis
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    ABSTRACT: Designed by Beveridge and built by Attlee's post-war Labour government, the welfare state was created during the 1940s. Britain has been seen – in domestic debates and internationally – as a world first: the place where both the idea and the practice of the welfare state were invented. I draw together comparative welfare state analysis with law and society scholarship (previously largely developed in isolation from one another) – as well as using British political cartoons as a source – to develop a revisionist historical critique of this conventional wisdom. First, the British welfare state has always been comparatively parsimonious. Second, the idea of the welfare state seems to have its origins outside the United Kingdom and this terminology was adopted relatively late and with some ambivalence in public debate and scholarly analysis. Third, a large body of socio-legal scholarship shows that robust ‘welfare rights’ were never embedded in the British ‘welfare state’.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of Law and Society
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports on the findings from a large-scale study of public attitudes to inheritance law, particularly the rules on intestacy. It argues that far from the assumption that the family' is in terminal decline, people in England and Wales still view their most important relationships, at least for the purposes of inheritance law, as centred on a narrow, nuclear family model. However, there is also widespread acceptance of re-partnering and cohabitation, producing generally high levels of support for including cohabitants in the intestacy rules and for ensuring that children from former relationships are protected. We argue that these views are underpinned by a continuing sense of responsibility to the members of one's nuclear family, arising from notions of sharing and commitment, dependency and support, and a sense of lineage.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Law and Society
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