Social Security: Ideology, Law and Society in the 21st Century

Ciara Fitzpatrick
Mark Simpson

The connections between law, society and politics are clearer in social security than in virtually any other field of law. Ideological views of the role of the state and of the balance between citizens rights and responsibilities are reflected in changes to social security law, which in turn shapes the standard of living many citizens enjoy in practice.

Modern governments have overwhelmingly applied a neoliberal approach, grounded on principles of deregulation, a minimal state and unregulated markets; resulting in greater social inequality, especially for those who rely on the state for income security (Brodie). In the 21st century UK, New Labours capacity building approach and the Conservative-led coalition and majority Conservative governments’ programme of austerity have produced an emphasis on of work as a divergence from poverty and the implementation of increased control and conditions for unemployed (Larkin, Adler), which can be linked to a global workfare project (Brodkyn).

Submissions to this theme might approach social security from a range of legal or socio-legal perspectives, including (but not limited to):

  • Balancing rights and responsibilities: behaviour change and social control in the disciplinary welfare state.
  • Social security and multi-level governance: sharing responsibility for the social rights of citizens and non-citizens.
  • Social security, welfare reformand human rights; the role of the judiciary in upholding social and economic rights.
  • Ideologies of welfare, perceptions of adequacy and the continued relevance of Esping-Andersens worlds of welfare capitalism UK, international or comparative perspectives are welcome.

Abstracts may only be submitted via the Easy Chair Platform. They must be no longer than 300 words and should include your title, name and institutional affiliation and your email address for correspondence.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 18th January 2016.