New Directions for the British Welfare State

Linda Bauld, Ken Judge, Iain Paterson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Between 1979 and 1997 there was a persistent perception that the British welfare state was under threat. Under a Conservative administration, the coun­ try experienced widening income inequality, the growth of private markets and limits on welfare spending. However, since May 1997, which marked the election of New Labour, there have been dramatic changes of emphasis in social policy, including a new commitment to reducing social exclusion. During its first 1,000 days in office an avalanche of policy initiatives emerged, many of which might be expected to have profound welfare consequences in future years. But despite the very real change of direction in social policy in recent years the impact of changes in government should not be exaggerated. There are also many long-term and often global influences that impact upon modern welfare states. The aim of this chapter is to evaluate some of the most significant trends in recent decades in Britain, and to reflect on what these imply for the future direction of the welfare state.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging Patterns of Social Protection
EditorsRebecca A. Van Voorhis
PublisherTransaction Press
Number of pages50
ISBN (Print)978-0-7658-0989-6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2003


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