Welfare imaginaries at the interregnum

Summer 2019
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.72.05.2019

This article brings together reflections from the recent seminar series, Welfare Imaginaries, and explores the ways that ‘welfare’ has been and can be narrated, constructed and understood. There is an urgent need to consider alternative, and more creative, imaginings of the welfare state, particularly at a time of intensifying neoliberalism and austerity measures, a hardening of attitudes towards welfare, and divisive rhetoric centred around deservingness. Both research and the lived experiences of austerity have shown the disproportionate impacts of welfare reforms on those already living with significant hardship. In creatively rethinking and reshaping welfare, the authors argue that those with direct experience of poverty, and thus most affected by welfare reform, should be a significant part of the conversation; and they also consider different ways of crafting welfare imaginaries that are inclusive, fair and socially just.

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