Portrait of Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby

Research Professor of Social Policy


Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Founding Academician at the Academy of Social Sciences and, previously, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sociology and Social Policy Section. He chaired the REF 2014 Social Work and Social Policy and Administration panel and the corresponding RAE 2008 Panel. He won the University of Kent Advanced Research Prize in 2018. 

Between 2009 and 2010, Professor Taylor-Gooby participated in the Prime Minister’s No 10 ‘progressive consensus’ Round Table and advised the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

Professor Taylor-Gooby was awarded the OBE for services to social science in 2012. 

He completed his PhD in Social Policy at the University of Kent, his M.Phil and Diploma in Social Administration at the University of York and his BA in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Bristol. He started his lecturing career at the University of Manchester as a Lecturer in Social Administration before joining the University of Kent in 1979 as a Lecturer in Social Policy. He became Professor of Social Policy in 1990. 

Professor Taylor-Gooby directed the Norface WelfSoc programme 2015-18, the ESRC Risk programme (2003-9), the EU FP7 Welfare Reform and Societal Change programme (2001-4) and the ESRC Economic Beliefs and Behaviour programme (1994-9). He has written 28 academic books, over 140 articles, more than 130 chapters in academic books and has given more than 100 keynote presentations at international conferences. Having become increasingly dissatisfied with the weakness of social science in addressing the emotions and presumptions that are so strong an influence on people’s behaviour, he is developing ways of examining such issues through novels such as 'Ardent Justice' and 'The Baby Auction'. 

For further detail, please see Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby's CV

Research interests

Professor Taylor-Gooby's main interests are in current developments in the welfare state: the cuts and welfare state restructuring, the social divisions association with inequality and the struggles over multiculturalism.

He has further interests in cross-disciplinary work on risk, comparative cross-national work on European social policy and work on theoretical developments in social policy. He believes that careful, theoretically-founded qualitative and quantitative empirical research is essential to make progress in all these areas. He is greatly concerned about the damage the current austerity programme does to the welfare state.

Major grants include: 

  • Our Children’s’ Europe, 2015-18, a NORFACE project led from Kent, 1.5m Euro. The project links together teams in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Slovenia and the UK, carrying out innovative research into people’s attitudes to the welfare state and how it will develop, using Democratic Forums and Focus Groups.
  • INSPIRES (Resilience, unemployment and young people), an EU FPV project, led from Erasmus, Rotterdam, Euro 220,000. Inspires conducts co-ordinated research in 12 countries on policy responses to unemployment among vulnerable groups and compares the success of different initiatives. 
  • Social Contexts and Responses to Risk, an ESRC Priority Network, 2003-2008, £2.8m. The Network links together research projects in 12 universities which examine how people perceive and respond to risks. 
  • Welfare Reform and the Management of Societal Change, an EU FPV project, 2001-5, 1.1m euros. This project, directed from Kent, examines how European social policy responds to the challenges of population ageing, labour market change and ideological shifts against the welfare state. 
  • Economic Beliefs and Behaviour, an ESRC Research Programme, 1994-9, £1.5m. The research investigated the relationship between people’s understanding of economic and material issues and their behaviour. It was conducted in 17 university departments and research institutes in the UK and in collaboration with visiting experts from Europe and America.

Plus 42 smaller grants to a total value of £6.2m, £4.5m from ESRC. 


Professor Taylor-Gooby welcomes research students in social policy with special interests in current developments in the welfare state: the cuts and welfare state restructuring, the social divisions associated with inequality, the struggles over multiculturalism, cross-cutting interdisciplinary work on risk and comparative and European social policy.

Two of his ex-research students hold chairs at Russell Group universities and one at a leading European university.  



  • The University of Kent Advanced Research Prize in 2018
  • the Social Policy Distinguished Achievement Award in 2017
  • an OBE, Services to Social Science, in July 2012 

Recent speaking engagments

  • AcSS Annual Lecture ‘The State of Social Science: only itself to blame’, London, July 5 2012. 
  • Keynote, Council of Europe Forum for the Future of Democracy 14 October 2011, Cyprus. 

Selected recent professional activities 

  • Chair of the REF Social Work and Social Policy and Administration panel, 2011-2015.
  • Chair BA Nudge Programme 2011-12
  • Invited Chair, Inside Government Westminster Conference on Welfare Reform to be addressed by the Chief Executives of the DWP Universal Credit Programme, Shelter, Job Centre Plus, the National Children’s Bureau, The Centre for Welfare Reform, and others, 7 June 2011.
  • Social Science Judge Fulbright Young Researcher Award, 2011. 
  • Member Government Office for Science Review of DWP 2011  
  • Chair of the British Academy New Paradigms in Public Policy Programme, 2010-2011


End of no-fault evictions to be welcomed, but renting woes in UK go far deeper on Kent Tonight, 15 April 2019

Discussing social policy and the future of the welfare state on Channel Radio, 21 June 2017 (MP3)



Showing 50 of 223 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2016). Ardent Justice. Matador.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2016). The Baby Auction. [Online]. Canterbury, Kent, UK: The Conrad Press. Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Auction-Peter-Taylor-Gooby-ebook/dp/B01IKW9I3O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8.
    Auctioning babies makes sense; the babies go to new parents who’ve proved by paying more than anyone else that they will give them the best start in life; the parents who’ve brought them into the world get real compensation for their pain and trouble. At least that’s what everyone in Market World thinks.
    Ed, a tough, spirited and streetwise young woman, and Matt, innocent and loyal, an outsider, hate this world, where the market decides everything. Anna, a successful business woman and Dain one of the Enforcers who police the city, think it offers a brave new world.
    The Baby Auction tells the story of Ed and Matt’s love and of their struggle against Market World, of their pain and trials and ultimate escape. It also tells how Anna and Dain come to discover that there is more to life that success in the city, and that they must overcome the contempt of all those around them, mistrust and betrayal before they can prove their love for each other through self-sacrifice.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). The Double Crisis of the Welfare State and What We Can Do About It. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
    The NHS, education, social care, local government, employment services, social housing and benefits for the poor face major challenges from a government determined to entrench a radical and divisive liberalism permanently in British public life. This book analyses the immediate challenges from headlong cuts that bear most heavily on women, families and the poor, and from a root-and-branch restructuring which will fragment and privatise the bulk of public services. It sets this in the context of escalating inequalities and the longer-term pressures from population ageing. It demonstrates that a more humane and generous welfare state that will build inclusiveness is possible by combining policies that limit child poverty, promote more equal outcomes from health care and education, introduce a greater contributory element into social benefits, invest in better child and elder care and address low wages and workplace rights. It shows that such policies are affordable because they follow the long-term trajectory of welfare state spending across the UK and other developed countries. It analyses the political forces that can be marshalled to support these shifts and shows that, with political leadership, the welfare state can attract mass support.

Edited book

  • Taylor-Gooby, P. and Leruth, B. eds. (2018). Attitudes, Aspirations and Welfare: Social Policy Directions in Uncertain Times. [Online]. Basingstoke UK: Macmillan Palgrave. Available at: https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783319757827.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. (2017). After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe After the Great Recession. [Online]. Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. eds. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Available at: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/after-austerity-9780198790273?lang=en&cc=gb.
    European welfare states are undergoing profound change, driven by globalization, technical changes, and population ageing. More immediately, the aftermath of the Great Recession and unprecedented levels of immigration have imposed additional pressures. This book examines welfare state transformations across a representative range of European countries and at the EU level, and considers likely new directions in social policy. It reviews the dominant neo-liberal austerity response and discusses social investment, fightback, welfare chauvinism, and protectionism.

    It argues that the class solidarities and cleavages that shaped the development of welfare states are no longer powerful. Tensions surrounding divisions between old and young, women and men, immigrants and denizens, and between the winners in a new, more competitive, world and those who feel left behind are becoming steadily more important. European countries have entered a period of political instability and this is reflected in policy directions. Austerity predominates nearly everywhere, but patterns of social investment, protectionism, neo-Keynesian intervention, and fightback vary between countries. The volume identify areas of convergence and difference in European welfare state futures in this up-to-date study - essential reading to grasp the pace and directions of change.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Green, J. and Hay, C. eds. (2015). Britain’s Growth Crisis: The Search for a New Model. [Online]. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/the-british-growth-crisis-jeremy-green/?K=9781137441515.
    Britain remains mired in the most severe and prolonged economic crisis that it has faced since the 1930s. The financial crash of 2007 brought British growth to a sharp halt, while the subsequent double-dip recession has eaten away at living standards and dampened future prospects. In such a context the question of growth has acquired a renewed urgency, taking centre stage within British politics. Britain's old growth model, based on asset price inflation in the housing market and cheap consumer credit, is now defunct. But, as yet, no credible alternative has been proposed. The old growth model is dying but a new one has yet to be born. The crisis has raised many questions about the future of British growth. Is the attempt to reduce deficits and lower debt the right strategy to foster long-term recovery? Can a new approach deliver growth that is socially and environmentally sustainable? And what can be done to ensure the benefits of growth are shared more evenly in the future? This important collection of essays by leading commentators seeks to provide some much-needed answers.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. ed. (2013). New Paradigms in Public Policy. [Online]. Oxford: British Academy , Oxford University Press. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780197264935.do.
    Covers issues of central policy importance
    Offers a new approach to relationship between policy and scientific knowledge
    This book reviews some of the most challenging developments in British society as they are understood by policy-makers and by academics. The key point is that academic debates identify a range of ways in which issues can be understood and tackled, but policy is typically based on a narrow subset of possible approaches. This is illustrated by discussion of climate change, demographic shifts, the response to greater ethnic and religious diversity, the debate about community and local area politics, democratisation, nudge, the international financial crisis, and the growth of popular disillusion with politics and politicians. These areas range across economic, social and political issues.
    This book will contribute to our understanding of governance and particularly of how the ideas that lead the policy agenda emerge and are reinforced. It will also be valuable in academic study of policy debate and help develop understanding of the policy issues which it examines. It is written by leading academics from the fields under discussion and draws on the most recent research.

    Readership: The 'Policy Community': academics, journalists, politicians, senior civil servants, lobby groups, think-tanks and private agencies interested in public policy. Also academics and higher-level students in political science, public administration, political sociology, social and public policy.


  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Heuer, J., Chung, H., Leruth, B., Mau, S. and Zimmermann, K. (2019). Regimes, Social Risks and the Welfare Mix: Unpacking Attitudes to Pensions and Childcare in Germany and the UK through De-liberative Forums. Journal of Social Policy [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S004727941800079X.
    Modern welfare regimes rest on a range of actors – state, market, family/households, em-ployers and charities – but austerity programmes diminish the contribution of the state. While changes in this ‘welfare mix’ require support from the population, attitude studies have focused mainly on people’s views on state responsibilities, using welfare regime the-ory to explain differences. This paper contributes to our understanding of the welfare mix by including other providers such as the market, the family or employers, and also intro-duces social risk theories, contrasting new and old risks. Regime theory implies differences will persist over time, whereas risk theory suggests that growing similarities in certain risks may tend to promote international convergence. This article examines attitudes to the roles of state, market, family, charity/community and employer for pension and childcare in Ger-many and the UK. For data collection we used deliberative forums, a new method in social policy research that allows citizens space to pursue extended lightly moderated discussion and permits researchers to analyse people’s justifications for their attitudes. Our results show that there are patterns of convergence especially in preferences for childcare, but that regime predominates in people’s justifications for their attitudes: regime differences in atti-tudes are resilient.
  • Chung, H., Taylor-Gooby, P. and Leruth, B. (2018). Political legitimacy and welfare state futures: Introduction. Social Policy & Administration [Online] 52:835-846. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12400.
    Welfare attitudes are pivotal in understanding the preferences and demands of citizens to help
    shape future policy reforms in welfare states. Accordingly, and due to the availability of large
    scale comparative survey data on attitudes, large numbers of studies of welfare attitudes have
    emerged during the past few decades. However, some limitations still exist in the field, such
    as the background assumptions informing the questionnaire design and top down framing of
    issues, the population represented and finally limitations in teasing out the causal mechanisms
    of relationships, especially pertaining to that of policy reform. This regional issue brings
    together papers that address some of these issues and others in welfare attitude research to
    provide some guidance for future studies. This paper first summarises the existing studies on
    welfare attitudes to identify some of the key limitations, and introduces the five articles in this
    special issue. It concludes with some suggestions for future studies in welfare attitudes.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Hvinden, B., Mau, S., Schoyen, M. and Gyory, A. (2018). Moral Economies of the Welfare State: A qualitative comparative study. Acta Sociologica [Online] 62. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0001699318774835.
    This paper uses innovative democratic forums carried out in Germany, Norway and the UK to examine people’s ideas about welfare state priorities and future prospects. We use a moral economy framework in the context of regime differences and the move towards neo-liberalism across Europe. Broadly speaking, attitudes reflect regime differences: a distinctive emphasis on reciprocity and the value of work in Germany, on inclusion and equality in Norway and on individual responsibility and the work-ethic in the UK. Neo-liberal market-centred ideas appear to have made little headway in regard to popular attitudes, except in the already liberal-leaning UK. There is also a striking assumption by UK participants that welfare is threatened externally by immigrants who take jobs from established workers and internally by the work-shy who undermine the work-ethic. A key role of the welfare state is repressive rather than enabling: to protect against threats to well-being rather than provide benefits for citizens. UK participants also anticipate major decline in state provision. In all three countries there is strong support for continuing and expanding social investment policies, but for different reasons: to enable contribution in Germany, to promote equality and mobility in Norway and to facilitate self-responsibility in the UK.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Chung, H. and Leruth, B. (2018). The Contribution of Deliberative Forums to Studying Welfare State Attitudes – a United Kingdom Study. Social Policy & Administration [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12405.
    This article introduces Democratic Forums as a method to study attitudes towards the welfare
    state and sets out briefly its strengths and weaknesses in comparison with existing methods.
    This is done by reporting the findings of United Kingdom based two-day forum in 2015 in
    which the future of the welfare state was discussed by a largely representative sample of
    participants. The results show that participants linked up both moral and economic arguments
    to come to two major frames that could encompass the debates surrounding welfare state
    futures. One focuses on the inefficiencies of the welfare state which found that the welfare
    resources were largely misdirected and unsustainable. The other focuses on the possibilities
    for improving it via social investment, for example providing individuals with better training
    and education opportunities. The democratic forum method is helpful in allowing researchers
    to investigate the conceptual framings people use when thinking about the welfare state and to
    see how people link different concepts and justifications together to argue their position. We
    argue that this framing can be distinct from that used and understood by policy makers and
    academics, and those applied in the more commonly used large scale surveys.
  • Leruth, B. and Taylor-Gooby, P. (2018). Does political discourse matter? Comparing party positions and public attitudes on immigration in England. Politics [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0263395718755566.
    The United Kingdom 2015 General Election campaign was mostly dominated by the issues of immigration, public debt and income inequality. While most political parties adopted austerity-led programmes in order to reduce the level of public deficit, their stances on immigration vary significantly despite the two main parties converging on a welfare chauvinist frame. This paper compares party positions to policy recommendations formulated by participants in a democratic forum as part of the "Welfare States Futures: Our Children's Europe" project, in order to determine whether recent party pledges on immigration are being used by citizens in a large group discussion over the future of welfare policy in the UK. The analysis shows that while participants are committed to tougher policies in order to reduce existing levels of net migration, most of the policy priorities formulated do not match those of the two mainstream parties (i.e. the Conservative Party and the Labour Party) but rather those of the UK Independence Party. It also demonstrates that participants' individual political preferences do not seem to match their own positions on immigration, and that there is little difference between left-leaning and right-leaning voters.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. (2018). Identifying Attitudes to Welfare through Deliberative Forums – The Emergence of Reluctant Individualism. Policy and Politics [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1332/030557318X15155868234361.
    This article uses deliberative forums to examine attitudes to UK welfare futures. It makes methodological, empirical and theoretical contributions to the field. We demonstrate the value of the approach, provide insights into attitudes, in particular about priorities and how people link ideas together, and show how the UK’s neo-liberal market-centredness fits with enthusiasm for state health care and pensions, desire to close national labour market to immigrants and approval of government interventions to expand opportunities for those who make the effort. Findings point to the strength of the work ethic and individual responsibility alongside a regret that major and highly-valued state services appear unsustainable, the construction of immigrants as simultaneously a burden on provision and unfair labour-market competitors and backing for the development of a ‘new risk’ welfare state through social investment. The study reveals the complexity of responses to current challenges in an increasingly liberal-leaning welfare state.
  • Wiborg, S., Green, F., Taylor-Gooby, P. and Wilde, R. (2018). Free Schools in England: ‘Not Unlike other Schools’?. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 47:119-137. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S004727941700023X.
    The aim of this article is to investigate the argument that choice and competition will unleash entrepreneurial innovation in free schools. Free schools were introduced as a subset of the Academies by the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition government, following the general election in 2010. The government made it possible for non-state providers to set up their own independent, state-funded schools in order to create more choice, competition and innovation. We conclude that a higher level of substantive innovation is taking place in regards to management practices than in respect of curriculum and pedagogical practices. Innovation in curriculum and pedagogical practices is very limited. Creating a free school offer that seems to differ from other schools appears to be done through marketing and branding rather than innovation. We argue that parents, OFSTED, and the relative isolation of free schools constrain innovation from taking place.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2017). Re-Doubling the Crises of the Welfare State: The impact of Brexit on UK welfare politics. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 46:815-835. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047279417000538.
    The double crisis approach distinguishes two kinds of challenge confronting modern welfare states: long-term structural problems and short-term difficulties resulting from policy choices which affect the success with which the long-term issues can be addressed. Structural challenges include two main areas:

    • globalisation and technological changes demanding that governments direct attention to national competitiveness, and

    • population ageing, requiring more spending on pensions, and health and social care.

    Recent policy-related problems include the austerity programme since 2010 which has been particularly directed towards benefits and services for working-age people. Responses to both kinds of challenge have set the stage for Brexit.
  • McEnhill, L. and Taylor-Gooby, P. (2017). Beyond Continuity? Understanding Change in the UK Welfare State since 2010. Social Policy & Administration [Online] 52:252-270. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12310.
    One approach to identifying policy change stresses policy instruments, settings and policy paradigms, while another also considers the process and culmination of various shifts and consequent outcomes. This article illustrates the debate through an examination of how far developments in social security policy between the 1997–2010 New Labour and 2010–15 Coalition Governments in the UK constituted real policy shifts. It shows that, despite continuities in instruments and approach, there have been substantial changes in the impact of welfare state policies related to short-term benefits, employment and housing. The article identifies new policy directions leading to a different kind of welfare state, concerned less with living standards and equality and more with individual responsibility and paid work. It suggests that this has been achieved without the need for radical changes in instruments and their settings.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2016). The Divisive Welfare State. Social Policy and Administration [Online] 50:712-733. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12257.
    An important tradition in social policy writing sees the welfare state as an agent of social cohesion against the conflicts of market capitalism. Social policy in the UK is now developing in a way that directly conflicts with this approach. This may signal the future direction of change in other countries, as crisis and slow growth limit available resources and governments become increasingly committed to neo-liberal and consolidation agenda. The 2010 Conservative-led Coalition and 2015 Conservative governments in the UK use social policy to exacerbate and embed social divisions as part of a project to achieve permanent cuts in welfare state spending without damaging their own electoral chances. This paper reviews the divisive welfare state policies in relation to taxation, benefits for working age people and for immigrants and between pensioners and non-pensioners because these groups cover much of welfare state activity and are currently salient in a way that gives the project political purchase. It goes on to argue that the divisions mask a further neo-liberal long-term project of reducing the proportion of national resources going to all recipients of social spending. In this sense we are all in it together.
  • Wilde, R., Green, F., Taylor-Gooby, P. and Wiborg, S. (2015). Private Schools and the Provision of ‘Public Benefit’. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 45:305-323. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279415000719.
    Legislative changes and a recent court ruling allow private schools in England and Wales to determine how to provide the public benefits required to justify their charitable status. We investigate how private school headteachers and other informed stakeholders perceive their public benefit objectives and obligations. We find that schools interpret public beneficiaries widely to include one or more of state school pupils, local communities, other charities, and general society through raising socially responsible adults. Private schools pursue their own goals through public benefit provision, and balance the advantages of public benefit activities against the costs. The schools are not constrained by the ‘more than tokenistic’ minimum set by the regulator. The findings highlight the difficulties faced by governments who seek to pursue redistributive educational policies through charitable law.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2015). Making the Case for the Welfare State. Policy and Politics [Online]:1-18. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/147084414X14081190124376.
    The UK welfare state is under unprecedented attack from (1) harsh spending cuts, focussed particularly on benefits and services for women, children, low-paid people and claimers of working age, and (2) a profound restructuring programme, which is fragmenting services and embedding private provision across the state sector. It is proving surprisingly difficult for pro-welfare state actors to make a case for generous state welfare that is both inclusive and electorally attractive. This paper analyses why this is so and what can be done about it. It discusses trends in the development of state welfare and in the way the issues are understood, the trilemma that pro-welfare policy-making faces, proposals for new directions in policy and a reform programme that might help build a more inclusive welfare discourse. It argues that any government that wishes to build a more inclusive society must implement policies that progressively reframe the way people think about work, reward and the role of government.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Gumy, J. and Otto, A. (2015). Can ‘New Welfare’ address poverty through more and better jobs?. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 44:83-104. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047279414000403.
    New welfare has been prominent in recent European social policy debates. It involves mobilising more people into paid work, improving human capital and ensuring fairer access to opportunities. This programme is attractive to business (more workers, better human capital and reduced social conflict to enhance productivity and profitability) and to citizens (more widely accessible job-opportunities with better rewards): a relatively low-cost approach to the difficulties governments face in maintaining support and meeting social goals as inequalities widen.
    The general move towards ‘new welfare’ gathered momentum during the past two decades, given extra impetus by the 2007-9 recession and subsequent stagnation. While employment rates rose during the prosperous years before the crisis, there was no commensurate reduction in poverty. Over the same period the share of economic growth returned to labour fell, labour markets were increasingly de-regulated and inequality increased. This raises the question of whether new welfare’s economic (higher employment, improved human capital) and social (better job quality and incomes) goals may come into conflict.
    This paper examines data for 17 European countries over the period 2001 to 2007. It shows that new welfare is much more successful at achieving higher employment than at reducing poverty, even during prosperity, and that the approach pays insufficient attention to structural factors, such as the falling wage share, and to institutional issues, such as labour market deregulation.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. and Waite, E. (2014). Towards a More Pragmatic Multi-Culturalism? How the UK policy community sees the future of ethnic diversity policies. Governance [Online] 27:267-289. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gove.12030.
    Multiculturalism as the dominant approach to managing diversity in the UK has been called into question by politicians, community leaders and academics in recent years. This paper reports interviews about multiculturalism, social cohesion and future directions in policy with leading figures in the debate, including members of the Home Affairs Select Committee, authors of major reports, experts, researchers and academics. The attitudes expressed do not fit the traditional left-centre-right dimension of British politics but, in most cases, indicate unease at the assumed segregative effects of current policy when discussing overall policy directions. However, when specific issues (sharia law, faith schooling, dress and diet codes, political representation) are considered the viewpoints of most of those interviewed are more pragmatic, leading to an incremental approach to future directions in policy. Relatively few respondents, again not typified by party allegiance, advocate strong policies to impose British values or move decisively away from a general multiculturalist stance. The transition most widely supported would be from stronger to weaker multiculturalism rather than from multiculturalism to a different approach to diversity.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. and Waite, E. (2014). From stronger to weaker multi-culturalism?: How the UK policy community sees the future of ethnic diversity policies. N/A.
    Multiculturalism as the dominant approach to managing diversity in the UK has been called into question by politicians, community leaders and academics in recent years. This paper reports interviews about multiculturalism, social cohesion and future policy directions with leading figures in the debate, including Home Affairs Select Committee members, authors of major reports, experts, researchers and academics. The attitudes expressed when discussing overall policy directions do not fit the traditional left-centre-right dimension of British politics but, in most cases, indicate unease at assumed segregative effects of current policy. However, when specific issues (sharia law, faith schooling, dress/diet codes, political representation) are considered the viewpoints of most interviewees are more pragmatic. Relatively few advocate strong policies to impose British values or move decisively away from a general multiculturalist stance. The transition most widely supported would be from stronger to weaker multiculturalism rather than from multiculturalism to a different approach to diversity.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Gumy, J. and Sundberg, T. (2014). Can ‘New Welfare’ Address Poverty through More and Better Jobs?. Journal of Social Policy [Online]:1-22. Available at: https://doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0047279414000403.
  • Sundberg, T. and Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). A Systematic Review of Comparative Studies of Attitudes to Social Policy. Social Policy & Administration [Online] 47:416-433. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12027.
    Systematic review (SR) is often promoted as a 'best practice' method to inform both policy-making and policy-evaluation in social policy in the light of the ever-growing volume of research. This article considers an innovative use of the method to advance and refine academic knowledge and illustrates this through a small-scale study of the literature on attitudes to welfare. SR relies on rapid, structured searches of large quantities of material. However, the method has encountered criticism. The article calls for a greater degree of reflection in terms of possible bias in SRs. A pilot using tools from SR methodology to survey attitudes towards social policy is used to demonstrate the problems. These include the US bias of major databases, and weaker reporting of book publications than of articles. SR may help to advance knowledge in social policy, but researchers need to be aware of its weaknesses and possible biases.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). Riots, demonstrations, strikes and the Coalition programme. Social Policy and Society [Online] 12:1-15. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1474746412000401.
    The current UK government’s policies include headlong spending cuts and a far-reaching restructuring of public provision. State welfare arguably contributes to political legitimacy and social stability, as well as to better social conditions and economic prosperity. The fact that current policies bear disproportionately on lower income groups may damage legitimacy.

    This article analyses a dataset covering 26 countries for more than two decades to show that spending cuts, privatisation and increases in poverty undermine legitimacy. It uses a direct measure of legitimacy in terms of the frequency of riots and political demonstrations and strikes rather than the usual indirect measures in terms of attitudes and trust in government. Findings in relation to the increased work-centredness of the benefit and labour market reforms are more equivocal: a stricter benefit regime may not undermine legitimacy.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). Why do people stigmatise the poor at a time of rapidly increasing inequality, and what can be done about it?. Political Quarterly [Online] 84:31-42. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-923X.2013.02435.x.
    This paper starts out from a puzzle. During the past thirty years, incomes have grown more unequal, a small group at the top has captured a much greater share of resources and poverty has increased. Despite this, most people are markedly less likely to want government to redistribute income or tackle poverty and are less sympathetic towards those without jobs. The greater insecurity of many people’s lives in the current crisis renders the issue more perplexing. This paper describes trends in inequality, poverty and unemployment; presents new data on attitudes, media discussion and political platforms; discusses theoretical approaches from social psychologists, political scientists, sociologists and other commentators; and considers how a more generous welfare state might be preserved.

Book section

  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2018). Participation and Solidarity in a Changing Welfare State. In: Beresford, P. and Carr, S. eds. Social Policy First Hand. Bristol: Policy Pres, pp. 22-33. Available at: http://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/social-policy-first-hand.
    Participation requires that the less powerful groups succeed in making their voices heard. Such groups often have few resources other than their numbers, so that concerted action within a democratic framework is essential. The various welfare states that emerged during the past century rested in different ways on traditions of national male breadwinner working class solidarity, often in class-coalition with middle class groups and supported by an active trade union movement. Welfare policies in the post-war heyday of corporate capitalism reinforced this solidarity. More recently the post-war settlement has been eroded by globalisation, the shift from manufacturing to a service economy, the decline of the nation state, insistent pressures from women’s groups and others for greater equality and the emergence of new social risks. The new welfare state settlement is market liberal rather than neo-Keynesian. These shifts disempower the groups that were able to influence the traditional welfare state but empowers new groups affected by new social risks and by globalisation. The key question for a politics of participation is whether these groups can form solidarities that enable them to exert real influence.
  • Chung, H., Filipovic Hrast, M. and Raker, T. (2018). The Provision of Care: Whose Responsibility and Why?. In: Taylor-Gooby, P. and Leruth, B. eds. Attitudes, Aspirations and Welfare: Social Policy Directions in Uncertain Times. Palgrave Macmillan. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75783-4.
  • Zimmerman, K., Chung, H. and Heuer, B. (2018). Labour Market Challenges and the Role of Social Investment. In: Taylor-Gooby, P. and Leruth, B. eds. Attitudes, Apsirations and Welfare: Social Policy Directions in Uncertain Times. Palgrave Macmillan. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75783-4.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. (2017). Where Next for the UK Welfare State?. In: After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe After the Great Recession. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. (2017). The Context: How European Welfare States Have Responded to Post-Industrialism, Ageing Populations, and Populist Nationalism. In: After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe After the Great Recession. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-27. Available at: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/after-austerity-9780198790266?cc=gb&lang=en&#.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. (2017). Liberalism, Social Investment, Protection, and Chauvinism: New Directions for the European Welfare State. In: Taylor-Gooby, P., Leruth, B. and Chung, H. eds. After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe After the Great Recession. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Available at: https://www.oupjapan.co.jp/en/node/19153?language=ja.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2015). The Double Crisis of the Welfare State and What We Can Do About It. In: Wegner, G. ed. The Legitimacy of the Welfare State: Religion, Gender, Neoliberalism. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, pp. 170-194.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2015). Introduction to The British Growth Crisis. In: Green, J., Hay, C. and Taylor-Gooby, P. eds. The British Growth Crisis: The Search for a New Model. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 1-14. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137441522.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2015). Public Policy Futures: A Left Trilemma?. In: Green, J., Hay, C. and Taylor-Gooby, P. eds. The British Growth Crisis: The Search for a New Model. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 126-150. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137441522.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. and Taylor, E. (2015). Benefits and Welfare. In: Curtis, J. ed. British Social Attitudes, 32nd Report. Natcen. Available at: http://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/latest-report/british-social-attitudes-32/welfare.aspx.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2015). Do Coalition Policies Undermine Solidarity?. In: Foster, L., Burton, A., Deeming, C. and Haux, T. eds. In Defence of Welfare II. Social Policy Association, University of Kent.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). Introduction: Public Policy at a Cross-Roads. In: Taylor-Gooby, P. ed. New Paradigms in Public Policy. OUP/British Academy, pp. 1-12. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780197264935.do.
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). Squaring the Public Policy Circle: Managing a Mismatch Between Demand and Resources. In: Taylor-Gooby, P. ed. New Paradigms in Public Policy. OUP/British Academy, pp. 39-70. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780197264935.do.
    Chapter 3
  • Stoker, G. and Taylor-Gooby, P. (2013). How Social Science Can Contribute to Public Policy: the Case for a Design Arm. In: Taylor-Gooby, P. ed. New Paradigms in Public Policy. OUP/British Academy. Available at: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780197264935.do.
    Chapter 9


  • Vasiljevic, M., Weick, M., Taylor-Gooby, P., Abrams, D. and Hopthrow, T. (2013). Reasoning about Extreme Events: A Review of Behavioural Biases in Relation to Catastrophe Risks. Lighthill Risk Network. Available at: https://connect.innovateuk.org/documents/3336350/3794724/Reasoning+about+extreme+events+A+review+of+behavioural+biases+in+relation+to+catastrophe+risks.pdf/43b4149f-2a62-4611-9c71-7e9bf83c5638.
    The present report outlines behavioural biases studied in the literature in relation to the way people reason
    about and respond to catastrophe risks. The project is led by the Lighthill Risk Network, in collaboration with a
    team of social and behavioural researchers from the University of Kent.

    The aim of this report is to increase awareness of selected behavioural risks, and to highlight ways how biases
    can affect insurance purchases and underwriting decisions. The report focuses on catastrophe risk as a priority
    area for the insurance industry, and because catastrophe risks have been more widely studied in the literature
    than other types of risk.

Conference or workshop item

  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2014). New Welfare Delivers More Jobs, But Are They Any Better?. In: Next Left: Building a Welfare Society. Available at: http://www.feps-europe.eu/en/news/547_next-left-building-a-welfare-society.
    Much discussion of welfare state policy for people of working age centres on what might broadly be termed work-centred welfare or ‘new welfare’ (activation, social investment, pre-distribution) as opposed to traditional tax-and-spend. This paper reviews the background to this approach, notes that in practice (at least in times of real growth) work-centred approaches seem more successful in mobilising people into work than in reversing disappointing poverty and inequality trends, draws attention to exogenous factors (more intense international competition, falling wage share, the rising return to skill) bearing on these outcomes and presents some recent analysis. This suggests that stronger contractual rights, which do not receive so much attention in much new welfare debate also have a role to play in ensuring that the proceeds of social investment are shared more equitably.


  • Yoon, Y. (2016). New Forms of Dualization? Labour Market Segmentation in the UK from the Early 1990s to the Late 2000s.
    This thesis provides a quantitative investigation on issues of labour market divisions, focusing on the UK case between 1991 and 2010. Existing literatures offer a sophisticated account of the theoretical understanding of divisions within labour markets across different welfare states. Especially, amongst others, the most recent literature, termed dualization, has highlighted a dualistic pattern of division not only within the labour market but also in other spheres such as social security settings in many advanced industrial economies. It also emphasises the cross-national variation in the divisions of labour markets. Yet, the existing researches do have their limitations, particularly by the extent to which many studies rely on pre-defined patterns and features of divisions. In other words, rarely do these studies examine how and to what extent labour markets are divided. Rather, they assume that a specific type of division exists in a market and this assumption is applied to measure the extent to which this division can be observed. Thus, this thesis aims to overcome these limitations by investigating distinctive patterns and features of the divided labour market as well as matters concerning the positional stability of individuals of the UK's employed population over the past two decades using advanced quantitative methods (latent class, latent and regression modelling). By investigating the country in which dualization is deemed to be less likely to occur due to its liberal economic structures, the thesis also engages with the role of labour market institutions and their policies.

    Results suggest that the UK labour market has been divided over the last 20 years and many socio-demographic indicators, such as gender, age and education, are attributed to the segmentation of labour force. This supports the theoretical literature on labour market divisions in that there are clear distinctions between those who are insiders and those who are not and that there are the contrasting demographics in different labour market segments. However, the clearest deviation from the existing literature is that the main characteristics that divide the groups in the UK labour market are not contract types but rather income levels, occupational profile, and social security benefits stemming from employment. Simultaneously, the divided labour groups indicated have relatively strong levels of positional stability between 1991 and 2010. Such an analytical outcome differs from previous theories' argument that the UK labour market has a flexible labour market structure which promotes frequent mobility amongst the labour force. In particular, the strong positional stability of the "insiders" regardless of different time points and scales was rather distinctive. Furthermore, of various individual-level indicators, trade unions have shown to be one of the core driving factors to reinforce the divisions in the UK labour market alongside the socio-demographic factors despite a radical reduction within their size and power over recent decades. Therefore, overall findings appear to be consistent with the broader argument of the existing literature on labour market divisions, that the "divides" do exist in the UK labour market. However, it provides less support for the recent suggestion that a specific pattern of division and its characteristics operate neatly across different countries. Such a result highlights the importance of further empirical investigations in order to understand the cross-national variations of labour market divisions.
  • Lee, T. (2015). New and Old Social Risks in Korean Social Policy: The Case of the National Pension Scheme.
    This is a study of old and new social risks in Korean social policy, in relation to the National Pension Scheme (NPS). It provides a comprehensive overview of the Korean pension structure and the emergence of new social risk groups. Based on the Korean Labour and Income Panel Study undertaken over eleven years and using bivariate and multivariate analysis, this thesis examines the effectiveness of the NPS and its reforms in protecting new social risk groups.
    The analytical framework of this thesis is based on the New Social Risk theory. Its limitation in explaining developing welfare states like Korea is also highlighted. Over the past two decades, the NPS has undergone dramatic financial cuts as its coverage expands rapidly. Given Korea’s aging population, the reliance on such public schemes will further increase, which will have a profound impact particularly, on those with low income. Societal and economic changes in the Korean society, as a result of de-industrialisation, have given rise to new social risks groups that differ from those that predominate in the post-war welfare era. These new groups are vulnerable because they cannot afford to contribute to their pension even during their working life with the likelihood that they will have little or no benefit from the NPS when they retire. They tend to be the atypical contract holders and workers of small-scale enterprises without unions. Contrary to expectation, women with care responsibility and young workers are less vulnerable.
  • Ruan, J. (2015). The Use of Guanxi in Everyday Life: The Case of School Selection in China.
    This research focuses on the use of guanxi (Chinese personal connections) in everyday urban life: in particular, how and why people develop their bonding, bridging and linking social capital in their guanxi networks. While much existing research focuses on the roles of bonding, bridging and linking social capital in different contexts, little is known about the process of developing and using these three types of social capitals in Chinese society. Although Kwang Kwo Hwang, Yunxiang Yan, and Xianqun Chang have distinguished different types of guanxi related to closeness, how these are related to social capital remains unknown. The study presented here aims to fill this gap in the research.

    Data of this research was drawn from two ethnographic studies of school place allocation in two Chinese cities during 2012-2013. The research finds that ritual is vital in guanxi practice, and it has more significant impact in moderate guanxi than close and distant guanxi. When la guanxi, people tend to apply Confucian li to show more Confucian ren in order to gain the same level of ren treatment in return from others. Thus, guanxi capital is mostly gained by ritual investment due to the influence of Confucianism. Based on this finding, the research proposes a new concept, described as “ritual capital”, which refers to a part of an individual’s cultural capital, fostered and maintained through practice of proper ritual.
  • Kabuye, R. (2015). Approaches to Fighting Poverty Among Older Persons in Uganda: A Study of Wakiso and Luwero Districts.
    Uganda experienced significant economic growth from 1992 to 2009. Following economic restructuring, the national poverty rate fell from about 56 per cent in 1992 to 25 per cent in 2009/10. However, while the overall proportion of the people living in poverty dropped significantly, in 2007, 64 per cent of older people were still living below the poverty line (Help Age International, 2007).

    Older people in Uganda make up 4.2 per cent of the total population which is 30.7 million. They are economically active: 84 per cent are involved with agriculture. However, over 90 per cent of the older persons live in rural areas where poverty rates are higher than in urban areas. Older people are vulnerable owing to HIV/AIDs: 12 per cent of Ugandan children are AIDS orphans and a quarter of these live in a household headed by an older person. In addition, out of the 16 per cent of the population with a disability, older people comprise 53 per cent. Furthermore, more than half of the older persons have never been to school. However, the majority of older persons provide for their households, this challenges the government position that ‘older people are generally too weak to perform productive work and are economically dependent on others’ (UNHS, 2009/10:137).

    This thesis focuses on the following questions: What is poverty? What explains the exclusion of older people from poverty reduction programmes? How do older people address poverty in their households?The study used qualitative methods, employing 120 interviews, including in-depth interviews with 18 representatives of government and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) six focus group discussions and 60 semi-structured interviews, to provide insight into the strategies used to fight poverty at the Sub County level. Narrative interviews and observation of non-verbal communication were employed to analyse older people’s experience of Poverty reduction programmes and identify their poverty alleviation strategies. Programme guidelines and policy documents were reviewed to gain detailed information about the backgrounds to the strategies, the modes of implementation and the theories that influenced the strategies. The study was carried out in Katabi and Mbututumula subcounties of Wakiso and Luwero respectively.

    This study found that the Government and CBO’s official views of what poverty is do not seem to differ much, but when it comes to identification of the poor then differences arise. The research demonstrates that both sectors support the monetary perspective on poverty and identify minimum income and expenditure in terms of a level of consumption below which poverty is identified. This understanding has its roots in an absolute perspective on poverty. Meanwhile, older people’s perspectives on poverty included a wide range of deprivations in their households. For example, the inability to send their grandchildren to school was a common type of self-reported deprivation for the majority of respondents. Older people used a relative concept to define poverty. What was needed for basic survival did depend on the cultural context and involved comparison with what other people in that context could afford.

    Despite the government’s objective of fighting poverty at the Sub County level, it was clear that government strategies did not include old-age poverty alleviation.Anti-poverty approaches were more strongly linked to the government’s own agenda than to the needs of older people. Yet in all these the older people in poverty were disadvantaged. Older people tended to be excluded by strict eligibility rules and conditions and by individual relationships within the groups formed to tackle poverty. Older people in poverty shy away from Poverty reduction programmes leaving the relatively poor, but those not in absolute poverty, to participate. The participants’ definitions of poverty and living standards observed during the interviews revealed that they were living well above the official poverty line. Furthermore, findings revealed that the right of older people to participate in government Poverty reduction programmes was not supported by legislation and there was limited information available to enable them to demand accountability or even influence policy strategies to address poverty.
    In contrast, community based organisations have been remarkable in seeking to reduce poverty among the older persons. Their approach provided support for participation of older people in Poverty reduction programmes. CBOs have conducted skills and possession audits among older people and, based on the results, old-age poverty has been included in development programmes. Such strategies have led to the establishment of credit facilities through community saving schemes and village banks, and age-friendly projects such as hand craft, mat and basket making, mushroom and vegetable growing. These motivate older people to participate and take into account their physical abilities. The formation of groups seems to be a major strategy used by CBOs to enable members to support each other and facilitate both the collective participation in decision making and the barter exchange strategy for goods and services among group members.
    This study concludes that despite the difficult living conditions of older people in poverty, the majority live independent lives, are self-reliant and use a variety of strategies to address poverty. These include involvement in agriculture, use of community banks, use of manual and business skills, fostering children, family visits, joining religious and collective social groups and training to gain new skills. The present study extends the literature by showing why old age poverty persists despite efforts to counter it.

    Some implication of the study’s findings are that strict eligibility rules should be used to ensure that poverty alleviation support reaches those who need it most, the formation of groups should not be used as a condition to qualify for government support, information on anti-poverty programmes should be readily available to older persons in poverty and best practices from CBOs and individuals should be incorporated in anti-poverty policies.
    Keywords: Uganda, poverty alleviation strategies, anti-poverty, older people, community based organisations, government, older people associations.
  • Sundberg, T. (2014). A Crisis in Welfare Legitimacy? A Review of citizens’ Support for the Welfare State in Times of Change.

Edited journal

  • Chung, H., Taylor-Gooby, P. and Leruth, B. eds. (2018). Political Legitimacy and Welfare State Futures. Special Issue of Social Policy & Administration. Social Policy and Administration [Online] 52. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12400.
    Welfare attitudes are pivotal in understanding the preferences and demands of citizens to help shape future policy reforms in welfare states. Accordingly, and due to the availability of large scale comparative survey data on attitudes, large numbers of studies of welfare attitudes have emerged during the past few decades. However, some limitations still exist in the field, such as the background assumptions informing the questionnaire design and top–down framing of issues, the population represented, and, lastly, limitations in teasing out the causal mechanisms of relationships, especially pertaining to that of policy reform. This regional issue brings together articles that address some of these issues and others in welfare attitude research to provide some guidance for future studies. This article first summarizes the existing studies on welfare attitudes to identify some of the key limitations, and introduces the five articles in this issue. It concludes with some suggestions for future studies in welfare attitudes.


  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2016). Book review: Inequality: What Can Be Done? Cambridge. Critical Social Poicy [Online] 37:315-316. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261018316683462.
    ISBN-13: 978-0674504769, Publisher: Harvard University Press (20 Mar. 2015)
  • Taylor-Gooby, P. (2015). Book Review Symposium, Tom Clark and Anthony Heath 2015 [2014] Hard Times: Inequality, Recession, Aftermath, Aftermath, New Haven and London: Yale University Press. British Journal of Sociology [Online] 66:593-597. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12139_5.
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