Pro-'workfare' governments justify their policies by claiming 'workfare' helps enhance self-esteem and promote the dignity of unemployed recipients. On the other hand, welfare activists argue that 'workfare' suppresses the dignity of unemployed persons.
This book examines the concept of human dignity in this context and attempts to clarify its meaning. For the first time, it formulates a framework for evaluating the dignity of welfare recipients; uses this framework to explore the dignity of unemployed persons in four different welfare systems: UK, Sweden, China and Hong Kong and compares the conditions of human dignity in each case and identifies factors which enhance or suppress it.
Human dignity and welfare systems is important reading for students and academics in the fields of social policy, social work, philosophy and politics. It is also a useful reference text for politicians, welfare administrators and activists.
Chak Kwan Chan is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Before that, he was Associate Professor at Macau Polytechnic and Post-doctoral Fellow at Chinese University of Hong Kong. His main research areas are social security, poverty and Christian welfare practices. Graham Bowpitt is Social Policy Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Nottingham Trent University, UK. He has obtained various research grants for evaluating Sure Start and the services of the Children's Fund. His main research areas are Christian welfare ideologies, homelessness and evaluating strategies for tackling social exclusion.
Contents: Human dignity and social policy; Rationality, sociability and human dignity; Respect, social participation and four welfare states; Hong Kong and human dignity; China and human dignity; The United Kingdom and human dignity; Sweden and human dignity; Comparing human dignity in four welfare systems; Human dignity and the classification of welfare systems.