The Welfare State in Contemporary Britain
Category : Welfare Provision in Western Europe
The Welfare State in Contemporary Britain
In lieu of the present developments in Britain’s society, there have been significant visions regarding the state of welfare that evolved. A majority of these learning visions are based on the idea that welfare is a social process where knowledge is denied instead of being acquired passively. Welfare, then, transforms into an interactive process. The interaction is being verified through the help of the participants in the process of improving the overall state of welfare such as the British government and the citizens themselves. In this framework, high quality of welfare would mean the continued guidance and support of the active improvement process of every social welfare service. Obviously, this would call for an intensive and phased guiding strategy (2003).
When in the active pursuit of the improvement of the welfare state of Britain, interaction with the citizens forms an integral part towards its success. Collaborative learning as a method of interaction is gradually being used nowadays. Through this approach, the British government can learn from their citizens through the acknowledgement of their social welfare needs in the socialization processes. In the process, the British government is able to obtain the chance to see their own ideas in a different aspect and therefore be able to take alternatives into consideration. The relative effectiveness of this approach is determined with the capability of the British government to continuously challenge its pre-acquired knowledge regarding social welfare by trying to adapt to the interpretations of their citizens.
The Labor Movement and Social Welfare
The labor movement in Britain has achieved a significant popularity status for their active involvement regarding social issues. Going back in history, the labor movement became existent in fighting for social welfare needs during the 1990s. And together with this existence was also the start of the booming number of social welfare programs being provided by the British government in response to their continued clamor.
More often than not, labor movement didn't really make an immediate impact on the current social welfare state of Britain. Instead, they engaged in activities that gradually propelled them towards the high level of popularity and involvement where they stand now. These activities included the numerous appearances in street demonstrations aiming for the improvement of the social welfare needs of the British citizens.
However, the role that the labor movement played was not limited to street demonstrations. Activities such as educating the British public and other social responsibilities were often related with the labor movement. A great deal of emphasis lied on the efficiency and effectiveness of those roles. Therefore, the labor movement wanted the British government to understand the welfare status of their nation by looking into the welfare needs of their citizens, both immediate and long-term.
Are the welfare states in rich western countries essentially the same?
Rich western countries like the US have social welfare delivery systems that implement the policies and tasks necessary to satisfy the social welfare needs of their citizens, employees, and government officials effectively and efficiently. These social welfare delivery systems focus on the careful management of the processes involved in the implementation and distribution of social welfare services. So in a sense, the welfare state of rich western countries has a slight difference as compared to Britain’s welfare state.
More often than not, the governments of rich western countries don't really have the capabilities to directly deliver the social welfare needs to all the constituents involved. This is the reason why privatization is often mentioned as a solution to this problem. Instead, these systems engage in activities that various schools of management typically associate with social welfare delivery. These activities include the establishment of social welfare programs.
However, an effective welfare state deals with all operations. Activities such as the management of social welfare services, the control of resources, logistics and evaluations are often related with an excellent state of welfare ( 2003). A great deal of emphasis lies on the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes involved. Therefore, rich western countries like the US include the analysis and management of internal processes in order to improve the status of their welfare.
Neo-liberalism and Social Policy
Neo-liberalism pertains to a political-economic school of thought that doest not allow government intervention in the domestic economy, while supporting free trade and welfare and social policy reform ( 2002). In mentioning this, the recent efforts of scholars to educate the public regarding neo-liberalism would definitely make learning easy for every individual who desires to do so. Also, the growing impact of neo-liberalism fits in with the larger transformation towards a knowledge-based social policy-making. Most policy-makers are already adapted to the ideas of neo-liberalism. Nowadays, policy-makers are more and more using neo-liberalism based ideas in order to formulate social policies.
Social policies can be influenced by neo-liberalism through the interaction of two major factors. On the one hand, the instructional factors: the educational philosophy brought about by neo-liberalism and its conversion into didactical ideas. On the other hand, organizational factors: the staff, infrastructure and policies related in this area. It is obvious that the policy-makers must possess a sound vision of neo-liberalism ideas and the efficient use of the available resources in order to effectively formulate social policies.
Nevertheless, these policy-makers need an interaction between both factors. This is because in order to respond to the new visions of neo-liberalism, they will eventually transform into a model together with the various aspects of the social environment. In return, the general public will have to continuously monitor their limitations and along the process introduce innovations.