An Intellectual History of British Social Policy: Idealism by John Offer

By John Offer

The background of social coverage is rising as a space of transforming into curiosity to either scholars and researchers. This topical e-book charts the interval from the 1830s to the current day, offering a clean research of the connection among social conception and social coverage within the united kingdom. assorted principles concerning the capacity and goals of social coverage instructed by way of Individualists, Idealists, and Fabian Socialists are tested extensive and their affects at the global of social coverage reassessed. certain attention is given to the background of principles when it comes to casual care and voluntary motion, in addition to motion by way of the country. An highbrow historical past of British Social coverage offers a precious framework that exposes a number of the assumptions concerning the nature of welfare and its destiny path whereas reconsidering and not easy many long-held ideals in regards to the evolution of social policy.?

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Nicholls reported on 15 November. He favoured a workhouse-based system of relief covering all destitution, with no outdoor relief (Nicholls, 1837, p 21). He cautioned that a general famine is ‘a contingency altogether above the powers of a Poor Law to provide for’ (Nicholls, 1837, p 21), and that a general policy of emigration would lower the quality of the population remaining, with the strongest persons most likely to leave (Nicholls, 1837, p 31). An excess of population was ‘an evil’, with prevention possible through ‘improved moral and prudential habits’, which in Ireland ‘prevail in a very imperfect degree’, with marriages contracted with ‘the most 24 ‘Virtue’ and the poor law in Britain and Ireland in the 1830s reckless improvidence’ (1837, p 31).

In brief, he was arguing for a sophisticated kind of psycho-neural parallelism in which the evolution of consciousness can be traced in the animal and human worlds, accounted for by the accumulated effects of adaptation in psychic and physical structures (on Spencer’s psychology see Chapter Three, and Mivart, 1873; Smith, 1982; and Taylor, 1992). Intensive work on the Psychology led to a breakdown in health; anxiety about his health and insomnia were recurrent concerns for the rest of his life.

7 Better known, but less faithful in representing Spencer’s emphasis on altruism in ‘industrial’ life, are Durkheim’s criticisms (on which see Corning, 1982). 42 Spencer and a liberal road to welfare: the eclipse of a vision Private beneficence, justice and the Spencerian future of welfare Although of great importance for Spencer, private beneficence or informal care was not the only welfare-promoting element that he found congruent with the development of social evolution as he conceived it. Justice, if defined and administered by the state in ways prescribed by Spencer, would prove no less important.

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