Archive for the 'public policy' Category

Does social mobility leave us nowhere to go?

Graeme Atherton, author of ‘The Success Paradox: why we need a holistic theory of social mobility’ and director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), the professional organisation for access to Higher Education (HE) in England. 

In today’s guest blog Graeme suggests the broken contract of ‘social mobility’ expected in the US and UK lies at the base of the attraction felt by many towards the anti-establishment messages delivered by the likes of Donald Trump and Brexit…

AthertonStagnating social mobility in both the UK and the US is well documented.

The stifling of opportunity for many to move up the economic ladder, and to bequeath such chances to their children has been apparent some time now in the UK and US. Internationally comparative research shows that compared to countries such as Canada and Sweden, British and American children are significantly more likely to have their income dictated by what their parents earn.

This apparent stagnation in social mobility is now beginning to shape not just the views of the policymakers but also the voters. The emergence of the unlikely anti-establishment triumvirate of Trump, Corbyn and Sanders owes much to the frustration people feel regarding the opportunities available to them. The Brexit vote, while a consequence of a conflation of factors coming together, undoubtedly was to some extent an expression of this frustration. Continue reading ‘Does social mobility leave us nowhere to go?’

As pension ages rise, what are our prospects for working longer?

In March of this year the UK government began its long-term review of state pension ages, with a number of commentators predicting large increases in the age of eligibility. David Lain, author of Reconstructing Retirement, sets the context for this review by considering wider changes to retirement policy.

David Lain 4It is commonly said that retirement is changing, with people increasingly expecting to do some form of paid work after ‘retirement’ age.

Sara Rix from AARP, for example, reports perceptions from the US that Baby Boomers will ‘reinvent and/or revolutionise retirement… they will… combine work and leisure in new and more rewarding ways’.

Increasing employment

In reality, however, it is arguably governments that most want us to ‘rethink’ retirement. In my view UK and US governments are actually seeking to reconstruct retirement, by increasing employment at age 65+ and dissolving the notion fixed retirement ages. They are doing this in two ways. Continue reading ‘As pension ages rise, what are our prospects for working longer?’

What will happen to UK immigrants after Brexit?

Academic and Policy Press author Jill Rutter recently answered this question in her blog which was originally posted on the Integration Hub and then again in Newsweek.  Below we’ve published a tantalising taster of her thoughts on the matter for you and if you’d like to read more why not check out the full article on Newsweek here.

Jill Rutter

Jill Rutter

With such an intense focus on immigration policy—determining who can enter and stay in the U.K.—there is a danger that integration, and what happens to migrants after they arrive in the U.K., will be forgotten.

But the referendum result also raises many questions about the future direction of integration policy. It shows clearly that debates about integration play out differently in the different parts of the U.K.

Some of the strongest support for Leave came from the towns and villages of the Fens, the agricultural heart of England, with four of the top ten biggest Leave votes coming from this area. The Fens are a major producer of cereals and vegetables, which support a large food packing and processing industry. The intensification of agriculture and changes to food  production and consumption patterns—particularly ‘just-in-time production’ for supermarkets—require a large, but flexible labor supply, now increasingly made up of EU migrants, many of them agency workers. Staff turnover in businesses that use agency workers makes it difficult for friendships to be forged between migrants and non-migrants……Continue reading by clicking here

 

Moving on up and getting on [FC]Jill Rutter’s latest book Moving up and getting on: Migration integration and social cohesion can be purchased here from the Policy Press website for special ‘Understanding Brexit‘ 50% discounted price £12.49.

Jill Rutter is Head of Research and Policy at the Family and Childcare Trust and Vice-Chair of the Migration Museum Project. Previously she worked at the Refugee Council and at London Metropolitan University. From 2007-2009 she was based at Institute for Public Policy Research, one of the UK’s largest think tanks, where she led its work on migrant integration. A political blogger and media commentator, this is her first book that addresses broader community relations.

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The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Is it time to refocus planning education?

…ask Kate Henderson and Hugh Ellis in today’s guest blog, enthusiastically calling for a renewed focus on the British utopian tradition of planning as a tool to drive progressive change in society.

Kate Henderson

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the Town and Country Planning Association

Hugh Ellis

Hugh Ellis, Head of Policy, Town and Country Planning Association

There is much that is admirable in planning education but as town planning has rapidly declined in England, many of the country’s planning schools which support it have struggled to recruit UK students.

Some planning schools have amalgamated with other departments and changed focus, even changed names in an attempt to broaden their appeal, but this has also raised questions about how much of the planning project they are actually teaching.

One of the most discouraging pieces of feedback we have heard from visiting planning schools across England is that they no longer teach the ‘British utopian tradition’ in any real depth. A lecture here or there is totally inadequate given that this tradition is the foundation of the ethical purpose of planning. Continue reading ‘Is it time to refocus planning education?’

What does Brexit mean for Social Policy in the UK?

This blog was originally posted on the IPR Blog, University of Bath entitled ‘After the Referendum: Picking up the bits’. With thanks to Professor Graham Room (who was one of our very first Policy Press authors!) for granting us permission to reblog the post below.

In today’s guest blog Professor Graham Room argues that if we are to manage the social changes of the 21st Century successfully and with public consent, a new social contract is needed, one which mobilises the energies and talents of all sections of society and that goes well beyond traditional welfare systems…

What have we learned from this referendum campaign, the passions and fears that it unleashed?

Were the electorate truly energised by the question, to leave or remain, or were they asking quite other questions than that on the ballot paper? Was this a national – and rational – debate about our membership of the European Union – or a mix of quite different hopes and especially fears, using this referendum as a brief opportunity to express themselves?

These questions arise most fundamentally for Labour, as they sense the gap that has opened up, between the internationalism of their London-based elite and their traditional supporters in the Midlands and the North. If Cameron, with his divided party, was forced to look Left for some hope, Labour was itself forced to look to its progressive middle class and younger supporters. Continue reading ‘What does Brexit mean for Social Policy in the UK?’

Dejected, disgruntled and divided: Britain’s EU referendum

As the UK continues to reel in shock at the outcome of the EU referendum, Nathan Manning shares his thoughts on what it has revealed about the state of the country and the implications for democracy…

Nathan Manning

Nathan Manning

Britain’s referendum on EU membership has been an ugly affair. Jo Cox MP was brutally murdered in the street en route to her constituency surgery. Both sides of the campaign routinely reduced public debate to sloganeering and sustained misinformation, half-truths and flat-out lies.

Once again, political elites tended to ignore young people and were patronising when they did address them. It did get people talking, but public debate was a long way from the inclusive and public-spirited conversations we needed to help open up the political possibilities of the decision before us.

The Leave campaign offered no clear indication of what Brexit might practically mean and Remain rarely offered more than the status quo or the abject fear of the alternative. There was precious little space in which citizens could ask new questions, create new meanings or inspire one another.

Elite control

Mark Twain told us that ‘if voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.’ Continue reading ‘Dejected, disgruntled and divided: Britain’s EU referendum’

Free extract: How austerity has been biting the UK since 2010

In light of the media surprise at George Osborne’s 2016 botched Budget and Ian Duncan Smith’s sudden bout of conscience we thought we’d treat you to some tasty extracts from Mary O’Hara’s book Austerity Bites.

 Chronicling the true impact of austerity as it has been felt in the UK since its inception in 2010 and calling the government to account for the pain inflicted on society’s most vulnerable, Austerity Bites reveals that the wounds of austerity have been visible for quite some time…

Mary O'Hara

Mary O’Hara

In February 2015 Tory Party grandees believed it was acceptable to hold a Black and White Ball fundraiser with tables going for £15,000 a time and to have among the items being auctioned bound copies of George Osborne’s Budgets, including the first ‘Emergency Budget’ that ushered in austerity.

While the average British citizen has been living in ever-more precarious circumstances and paying through the nose for bankers’ malfeasance the rich can rest assured that they won’t have to pay their fair share. This is the situation almost five years into Austerity UK.

This Tory and the previous coalition government have presided over manifold cases of people so crushed by the brutish, punitive changes to the welfare system, including the inexplicable ‘Bedroom Tax’, and sanctions that many have gone without food, resorted to begging or taken up ‘survival shoplifting’ after their meagre benefits support has been withdrawn. People are suicidal.

Despair

The government has driven innumerable disabled people to despair with its spectacularly inappropriate and mismanaged ‘back-to-work’ programmes that are still plagued by criticisms of callousness and ineptitude. Continue reading ‘Free extract: How austerity has been biting the UK since 2010’


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