Examining, in the widest sense, the changes in political philosophy that have occurred in Western capitalist states since the early 1980s, this book focuses on the introduction of neo-liberal principles in the combined area of social and education policy. New Zealand presents a paradigm example of the neo-liberal shift in political philosophy. From constituting the social laboratory of the Western world in the 1930s in terms of social welfare provision, New Zealand has become the neo-liberal experiment of the fully marketised society in the 1990s. Against the theoretical background of educational theory and practice, this book examines neo-liberalism and its critiques as responses to the so-called crisis of the welfare state and argues for a reformulated critical social policy in the postmodern condition. The conclusions about social policy drawn by the authors can be generalized to similar situations in other Western capitalist countries.