Part 1 Explain and illustrate the broad nature of the post-war welfare settlements and their reconstruction in the 1980s and 1990s.
The post-war welfare state was a social construction that resulted from the complex, contested and fragile set of arrangements called â€˜settlementsâ€™ â€“ the political, economic, social and organisational settlements. Therefore it never was the homogeneous or unified entity that it is often regarded as.
Keynesâ€™ demand management theory, as a solution to unemployment, advised the government to intervene in the economy by increasing government expenditure in order to increase aggregate demand. The influence of Keynesianism on economic theory and political policy in the post-war period was dominant. It became common sense and therefore the most powerful social construction and the one that influenced social policy. The post-war economic settlement was structured by Keynesâ€™ idea about how to finance the welfare state and how to manage the relationship of welfare to the economy. The policy adviser Beveridge, shared Keynesâ€™ thinking and this influenced his social security plan, which he outlined in the Beveridge Report in 1942. The plan involved creating collective security by compelling workers to pay insurance contributions, which enabled them to receive benefits in times of need.
The post-war political settlement involved the formation of a balance of power between the main political parties, the two sides of industry, (including organisations of professionals) and central and local government. Both the post-war economic and political settlements resulted in a general consensus that the state should intervene to regulate the economy and deliver welfare services and benefits. There was also a belief that the two sides of industry should be included in the policy-making process. The combination of the economic and political settlements resulted in the soci