THE ETHICS OF WELFARE: HUMAN RIGHTS, DEPENDENCY AND
Edited by Hartley Dean, Policy Press
ISBN 1861345623, £25
Star Rating: 3/5
This journey explores themes such as definitions and
interpretations of human rights, cultural concepts of different
perceived types of citizen, and the Third Way political orthodoxy
(which is described deliciously as “ethically deficient”), writes
En route there are debates about collective responsibilities as
interdependent beings, as opposed to the more popular
The journey concludes (without giving away the ending) by
looking at the relationship between state, family and
The book is based on in-depth interviews with the public, social
workers, benefits administrators and service users.
There are some intriguing results. For example, interviews with
social workers made them appear to be more judgemental of welfare
claimants than the benefits administrators.
Although essentially this is an academic book, it would be of
help to anyone working in welfare or benefits provision or social
Ashling Sans is senior caseworker, community care law,
Turpin, Miller and Higgins solicitors, Oxford.