1st Edition

The Idea of Welfare

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 10, 2021
ISBN 9780367177645
May 10, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
304 Pages

USD $40.00

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Book Description

Originally published in 1979, The Idea of Welfare critically reviews the concepts of egoism and altruism as they are expressed in residual and intuitional models of social welfare. The book describes the way in which the scope and limits of obligation and entitlement are determined in practice by the interplay of familial, communal, national and international loyalties. It also looks at the similarities and differences between economic and social forms of exchange and mutual aid. These major themes are developed in a comparative review, which explores the effects of social change on the ways in which people seek to preserve and enhance their welfare through self-help and collective action. The book focuses on Britain, the USA and Russia, it challenges conventional definitions of welfare, largely concerned with formal social policies sponsored by government and uses historical material to illustrate the dominant forms of a mutual aid which were practised before the development of modern welfare states.

Table of Contents



Part I: The Institutional Frameworks of Social Welfare

1. Egoism and Altruism: A Critique of the Divergence

2. Family and Community

3. Nationalism and Internationalism

4. Social Change and Social Welfare

5. Patterns of Exchange in Social Welfare

Part II: Capitalism, Socialism and Collectivism

6. Welfare and the Free Market

7. The Collectivist Reaction

8. Social Change and Social Policy in Russia before the Bolshevik Revolution

9. Community and Social Welfare in America before the First World War

10. Settlement, Migration and the Search for Welfare

11. A Comparative Typology of Social Welfare

12. Three Models of Social Welfare


Subject Index

Name Index

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Robert Pinker Professor o f Social Work Studies, London School o f Economics and Political Science