LSE Social Policy: An International Perspective

LSE Social Policy: An International Perspective

Social Policy was born out of the belief that we could do something to address problems and societies born out of an awareness by a certain key figures of the detrimental effects of the development of capitalism its roots are in a belief in our capacity for social change and for social improvements social policy is the study of the way that societies come together in order to meet human needs a social policy is a policy that's designed to address problems of human wellbeing social policy is the study of all the really big questions about how we organize ourselves as societies when we when we teach social policy when we teach introductory social policy we often start way back in the era of the Industrial Revolution and we look at the way that the emancipation of the markets back in the 18th century led to new vulnerabilities problems like unemployment which had never been the case before and then what what sorts of responses societally we started to see so for example the creation of welfare states so how do we make sure then everybody has a decent income to live on and they have access to education to health to housing and how far should we should it be up to families and the market economy to to provide for those things for people to organize those things for themselves or does the state need to have a role and if the state has a role what role should that be how should they get involved how should they organize services it engages with very difficult issues issues relating to global poverty global inequalities and it emphasizes the importance of different ways of understanding those problems and different ways in which those problems are addressed the better or worse this department has been very well known for founding the study of social policy which historically has been taken to describe the welfare state institutions in rich economies and in particular the UK that is a false picture of today's world of social policy one of the particular strengths of social policy analyses exactly its international scope the research that we do is increasingly internationally focused increasingly global we no longer study simply the UK in fact I would say that the UK well it is probably certainly not the majority of study any any more to take the particular example of social policy at LSE it started off being a discipline looking specifically at the welfare state in the context of Britain but what we see today is that social policy looks at the welfare state in Britain as well as many other jurisdictions around the world the International orientation is particularly important it's not just that our students are very international it's not just that our faculty is very international but in the last several years and last decade the social policy department at the LSE has been far more internationally oriented has been interested in expanding the study of social policy to places where there's a positive college haven't previously been doing their research the research that we conduct and the courses that we teach are also strongly international we look at different social policies in a variety of environments national as well as international and we also advise governments around the world as to the policies that they should follow in particular fields things like you know the goals that social goals of raising living standards how to improve social justice provision of Social Protection these are universal issues they're important all around the world every country it's just that the social context differ in my work working in places like sub-saharan Africa and China is sort of represents some of those new frontiers in the study of social policy I think all of us who are involved in social policy and teaching and studying it come from a perspective where we want to rule to change the world we want things to be better and we think that policy better policy solutions should surely be able to enable us to live better so we're not only I think in sociology and economics you have people who are interested in policy solutions but you'll also be studying any topic simply from a I'm more descriptive or more just trying to understand the way the world works and I guess we do want to understand the way that the world works so that we can improve on policy and improve on the way things function I think students come full of hope and full of desire to understand what's going on in the world and how policy can contribute in different ways to addressing those issues so I have no doubt that we are going to remain relevant both as a field and even more so as a department you

2 thoughts on “LSE Social Policy: An International Perspective

  1. The LSE's approach to Social Policy can be summed up in this artwork commissioned by the founders of the LSE and installed today in the Shaw Library at the top of the Old Building.

    This is what they mean by changing the world and making the world 'better'.

    Note: 1. The title at the top: 'remould it nearer to the heart's desire'

    2. Notice the logo: It is a wolf in sheep's clothing

    3. Notice the action: An industrially heated 'planet' earth is being smashed and moulded by two of the founders of the LSE.

    4. Notice the Red Shield

    5. Notice the people along the bottom (various friends and members of the Fabian Society) are worshipping not the divine, but themselves – their own documents.

    6. Look up the Fabians. They are named after "Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, the dictator of the Roman Republic" whose method of war was: "where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale." (Deception basically) If you think this window is an embarrassing element of the distant past – best forgotten etc, I am afraid it was printed in the graduation ceremony booklets/programmes in 2017.

    The Shaw Library is named after GBS – here are a few quotes from him

    1. ON THE USE OF GAS CHAMBERS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE "We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living, and to leave living a great many people whom we at present kill. We should have to get rid of all ideas about capital punishment … A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people's time to look after them." Source: George Bernard Shaw, Lecture to the Eugenics Education Society, Reported in The Daily Express, March 4, 1910.

    2. ON KILLING THOSE "UNFIT TO LIVE" FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE "The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?" Source: George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable and Co., 1934), p. 296.

    Don't believe those references? How about GBS on film saying the very same:

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