The analysis of social and public policy and professional practice has become increasingly theoretical in recent years. This volume draws together experienced practitioners and academics in social work, probation and counselling, as well as from other forms of legal and social practice, to better understand the relationship between theory, policy and practice. The contributors argue that the use of theory in studying policy and practice is overall a positive and necessary development. However, they also highlight and explore a number of methodological problems and philosophical issues for critical reflection: ¢ The often inaccessible nature of abstract theoretical argument ¢ Perceived problems of relevance and applicability to practice given the structure and purpose of theoretical modelling; ¢ Philosophical difficulties and questions when applying theoretical generalization to policy and practice. The authors address these problems in a style fully accessible to non-theorists, offering a unique multi-disciplinary resource for students, academics, policy analysts and practitioners.
Steven Smith is Reader in Social Policy and Political Philosophy at the University of Wales, Newport, UK.
’We all employ value judgements and theories in our work and everyday lives, often without realizing it. This masterful and original book seizes this point and runs with it, offering an accessible, thought-provoking and highly informative discussion of the connections between theory and practice. It is a must for academics and practitioners concerned about today's leading social and ethical issues.’ Ken Blakemore, Swansea University, UK