This report is intended to provide both a record and a critical assessment of the second workshop of the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society’s programme, The Social Contract Revisited: The Modern Welfare State. The workshop was held in Oxford, 10–12 October 2007.
Contemporary welfare states remain in need of powerful policies aimed at protecting against new social risks, inclusion through work, and more equality in education and the labour market. Clearly, in less stratified societies, such as in Scandinavia, there is less scope for Matthew effects and these social policies are likely to be more effective.
In the United States, ’welfare‘ and the politics of welfare – cash assistance for families, generally female-headed single-parent families with children – have been treated as a separable realm of policy, and too often as synonymous with all of anti-poverty policy.