In the Beveridge Lecture, delivered on 18 March 1999, Prime Minister Tony Blair committed his government to abolishing child poverty within 20 years. He concluded that the present-day welfare state is not fitted to the modern world, and laid out his vision for a welfare state for the 21st century. Blair's vision, grounded in a particular conception of social justice, is perhaps as challenging as the blueprint laid down by Beveridge.
Ending child poverty presents Blair's Beveridge Lecture alongside the views of some of Britain's foremost policy analysts and commentators. This unique collection makes it possible to not only read the ideas of leading current thinkers in this critical area of policy, but also to compare them with the Prime Minister's lecture, and to see which ideas he himself took up and in what form.
Ending child poverty is a record of not only the Lecture itself, but also of the ideas available to government and their influence on its leader at an important moment in the formation of policy. It provides a rich tapestry on analysis, insight and reflection that will, it is to be hoped, stimulate critical debate about the future shape of British welfare.
This collection is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of modern society and politics and provides an accessible handbook for undergraduate students of politics, social policy and sociology.
Robert Walker is Professor Emeritus and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College.
Contents: Foreword ~ Lord Butler; Section One: Welfare for the 21st century: Introduction ~ Robert Walker; Beveridge revisited: a welfare state for the 21st century ~ Tony Blair; Section Two: Contributions: A. Beveridge and his legacy: Beveridge and the Beveridge Report - life, ideas, influence ~ Jose Harris; Beveridge and the 21st century ~ Tony Atkinson; Beveridge and New Labour: poverty then and now ~ John Hills; B. Modern social justice: Notes on social justice and the welfare state ~ Anthony Giddens; Social justice ~ Raymond Plant; Conceptions of social justice ~ Julian Le Grand; Equality of access ~ Peter Kellner; The balance of rights and responsibilities within welfare reform ~ Alan Deacon; C. Social justice into practice: The New Right and New Labour ~ David Piachaud; A modern party of social justice: achievements and missed opportunities ~ Ruth Lister; Social security: a cornerstone of modern justice ~ Robert Walker; Making welfare work ~ Polly Toynbee; The new welfare ~ Bob Holman; Section Three: Responses: A poor press? Media reception of the Beveridge Lecture ~ Simon Cross and Peter Golding; Dimensions of the debate: reflections on the Beveridge Lecture ~ Robert Walker.