Should we talk about ‘social security’ instead of ‘welfare’?
When discussing unemployment and social security benefits, should those of us who believe in a more generous system try to avoid talking about ‘welfare’? Many researchers and campaigners believe that that the term ‘welfare’ activates ideas about ‘handouts’ and dependency which reduce public support benefits. For example, at a recent event hosted by the Commission…
Sanctioning disabled benefit claimants: is it fair and is it effective?
This piece was cross-posted in the Demos Quarterly, issue 13. The sanctioning of disabled benefit claimants is a reality in Britain: over a million benefit sanctions have been applied to disabled people since 2010. We therefore cannot avoid asking: can these be justified? One possible justification is that sanctions increase employment, and another is that…
What effect do sanctions & conditionality have on disabled people?
I have just blogged about this over at my other blog, Rethinking Incapacity – you can read the full blog post (with the link to the research articles) here.
Sharp softening of attitudes to benefit claimants, reveals new data
Over the past twenty-five years, there has been a major and widely-reported change in British attitudes towards benefit claimants: simply put, we are less positive about benefit claimants than we used to be. More of us think that ‘large numbers falsely claim’ or that ‘many claimants don’t deserve help’, and attitudes have become particularly hostile…
Just how common is benefits stigma in Britain?
To (loosely) coincide with my paper on benefits stigma coming out in the Journal of Social Policy, I’ve written a short summary on the LSE Politics and Policy blog. (Long-running readers of the blog will see that this is a developed version of the earlier report that I did with Kate Bell and Declan Gaffney in 2012 –…
Trends in out-of-work benefit claimants in Britain
As long-term readers will know, I’m intrigued by people’s beliefs about the benefit system, and their truthfulness or falsity of these beliefs. Later in the summer, I’ll talk about a new aspect of this: people’s perceptions of how many out-of-work benefit claimants exist, and whether they think this has risen or fallen. In preparing for this, though, we…
Benefits: Fact and Fiction
As part of the International Year of Statistics (by the way, it’s also the International Year of Water Cooperation, and the International Year of Quinoa, so good quinoa recipes in the comments please), Ipsos Mori recently conducted a survey looking at people’s factual beliefs about the UK. I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to hear…
Is ‘the paradox of redistribution’ dead?
It has all the makings of a great academic fist-fight.* In a classic 1998 article, Walter Korpi and Joakim Palme wrote a hugely influential article called ‘the paradox of redistribution,’ which argued that a targeted benefit system ended up achieving redistribution than a more universal one (see here). Now in 2013, three Belgian academics have…
Attitudes to redistribution: does it matter where you live?
This is a guest post by Nick Bailey on some of the first work on the geography of attitudes to redistribution, based on his just-published paper (with four colleagues). More on this from me (Ben) over the summer too, it’s a really interesting area to investigate! As several previous posts on this list have noted (including this…
‘Infrahumanizing’ benefit claimants
I’ve written before about how I think a lot of people’s antipathy towards the benefits system comes from their ideas about the sort of people benefits claimants are. That they are a special, different sort of person that is unworthy of help. There’s a horrible sort of circularity to it – being the kind of person…