Austerity and the Reconfiguration of the Welfare State

Austerity, as a political response to economic crisis, has reshaped and redefined the role and purpose of British social and public policies, moving the centre of gravity of the welfare state from social welfare to corporate welfare. And the politics and economics of Brexit is cementing the transformation.

This paper traces the journey and reconfiguration of the British welfare state over the past decade. Drawing on political economy perspectives, it highlights and examines the impact of economic and political crisis on the welfare state and ask what hope there is for progressive social policies in a post-Brexit age.