UK Social Policy Association Workshop: Public Understandings of Inequality & Civic Subjectivity in Welfare Politics

This workshop is the final event in a series dedicated to “Re-thinking the Social Divisions of Welfare: Implications for Intersectional Inequalities and Redistributive Justice”.

In 1958, Richard Titmuss published ‘Essays on the Welfare State’ - a seminal text underlining the moral and functional legitimacy of social interdependency between citizens. This event will explore the merits of attending to subjective perceptions of social position amidst economic restructuring and the explanatory fruits this offers for understanding the role of welfare politics in the reproduction of inequalities. Consideration will be given to the moral and explanatory frameworks that underpin public attitudes and the policy preferences surrounding welfare and austerity.

This will involve theoretical and empirical examination of the civic subjectivity of political agents and what bearing shifts in the socio-economic settlement are having on the collective (dis-) identification of citizens. Papers delivered will reflect on what possibilities and challenges this presents for social movements, ‘solidarity’ and ‘resistance’ at a time of significant socio-political upheaval.

A closing panel discussion will consider whether the types of civic subjectivity being mobilised in the present context have the capacity to engage with and give expression to mechanisms of redistributive justice.

Keynote Talks:

  • Social movements, activism, and the politics of welfare in the context of austerity and Brexit, Dr Armine Ishkanian, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics
  • What makes austere neoliberalism governable? Reflecting on possibilities for Resistance in the present context, Professor Jonathan Davies, Centre for Urban Research on Austerity, De Monfort University

A panel discussion will reflect on the presentations given and the result of the UK General Election (12th December 2019).

This event is free to attend but registration is required.