The editors have chosen substantial extracts to illustrate the major themes and ideas in Beveridge’s writing over a period of more than four decades, ranging from his book Unemployment, published in 1909, to the Beveridge Report of 1942 and beyond. Sections cover his social philosophy; the crucial role he attributed to social insurance as a technique of welfare; his relation to economics; and the stress he placed on voluntary action in a free society. Each theme is introduced by a full editorial commentary which explains its place in Beveridge’s thought, as well as outlining his position and offering critical guidance to the reader.
The return of mass unemployment and continuing debate on the role of the welfare state has revived interest in Beveridge’s work and this reader brings his ideas.
Part 1: The Economic and Social Philosophy of ‘A Free Society’ 1. ‘Between Cobden and Lenin’ 2. Full Employment With ‘the preservation of essential liberties’ 3. ‘Socialization of Demand’ or the Politics of Demand Management 4. ‘Assumptions, Methods and Principles’ in the 1942 Social Insurance Plan 5. The Case of Voluntary Action, 1948 Part 2: Social Insurance and the Allied Services: the Political Utopia of 1942 1. The Problem of ‘Interruption of Earnings’ as Disclosed by the Interwar Poverty Surveys 2. The Practicability of Redistributing Income So As To Abolish Want 3. ‘Subsistence Benefit’ Levels and the Problem of Rent 4. The Nature of Social Insurance and Its Rationale 5. ‘Comparisons With Other Countries’: Flat Rate Versus Graduated Schemes 6. Conditions for Long-Term Claimants and the Need for Full Employment Part 3: The Development of Social Insurance as a Technique of Welfare 1. ‘A Daring Adventure’, the Introduction of Unemployment Insurance in 1911 2. ‘From Insurance by Contract to Relief by Status’: Unemployment Insurance in the 1920s 3. ‘The co-Ordination of Insurance’: Beveridge’s Position in 1924 4. The 1942 Plan for Insurance ‘All Embracing in Scope of Persons and of Needs’ 5. ‘A Difference of Principle’ About the Implementation of the Beveridge Report 6. ‘Lower Contributions’ rearranging the Burden of a Flat Rate Scheme Part 4: Beveridge and Economic Theory: The Problem of Unemployment 1. The Problem Definition of 1909: ‘A Problem of Industrial Organization’ 2. The 1909 solution of ‘Organization of the Labour Market’ 3. The Impasse of 1930: Persistent Mass Unemployment with Sticky Wages 5. Keynes’s break and Beveridge’s Instruments 6. Policies for Full Employment Part 5: The Role of Voluntary Action 1. Beveridge’s Critique of Working-Class Life Assurance 2. The Motives of Mutual Aid and Philanthropy Expressed in Voluntary Action 3. The Role of Friendly Societies 4. The Evidence of the Decay of Friendly Societies. Conclusion: A Verdict on Beveridge’s Collectivism. William (Later Lord) Beveridge: An Outline Life