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Introduction: Austerity, Welfare and Social Citizenship

  • Daniel Edmiston (a1), Ruth Patrick (a2) and Kayleigh Garthwaite (a3)

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, an ‘austerity consensus’ has emerged across many advanced capitalist economies (Farnsworth and Irving, 2012). Despite differing institutional settings, there has been a notable degree of convergence on fiscal consolidation (Farnsworth and Irving, 2012; Taylor-Gooby, 2012). Alongside this, political administrations have repeatedly claimed that welfare profligacy and dependency are key causes of public sector debt and economic stagnation. On this basis, political leaders have cultivated a policy mandate to re-configure working-age welfare and constrain public social expenditure in this domain. Taken together, these reforms represent a ‘new, more constrained and qualitatively different deal for citizens’ (Dwyer and Wright, 2014: 33). The central objective of this themed section is to explore the impact of these developments and their significance for the shifting character and operation of social citizenship in countries pursuing a similar strategy of ‘welfare austerity’ (MacLeavy, 2011: 360).

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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
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