chapter  3
31 Pages

The Politics and Governance of Social Policy

ByCatherine Bochel, Guy Daly

Both social policy and politics are closely tied to decisions about the make-up of society and the distribution of resources (including income and wealth) within it. Each is therefore concerned with the appropriateness of social arrangements and the means by which these are determined. Within the political system there are a variety of forces that

impact upon social policy – changes of government inevitably bring different policy priorities and approaches, pressure groups lobby governments to achieve their aims, the media also seek to infl uence government and to highlight issues, and as implied above, individuals and groups can also participate in different ways. In addition, there have been signifi cant changes in recent years in the mechanisms of social policy formulation and implementation, with devolution to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales being a clear instance of this, and these also have implications for social policy.