Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 February 2022
This section of Social Policy Review reproduces several papers from the joint SPA/EASP Conference held in York in July 2012. As usual, there were many great papers to choose from. All the papers that were selected for this section in some way speak to the core concerns of social policy, but also push at the boundaries of the subject. They each make insightful contributions to the welfare debate and, in line with the themes and breadth of the conference itself, represent a diversity of topics and national case studies. In addition to these papers from the York conference, we also reproduce in this section Ilana Shpaizman's paper, winner of the Best Postgraduate Paper at Lincoln in 2011. Collectively, these six papers draw together policy case studies from the UK, US, China, Japan, South Korea and Israel.
Gary Craig and Maggie O’Neill's topical chapter on British national and local policies on ‘race’ argues that due in part to deliberate strategies to water down equality legislation, and partly due to the unintended consequences of ‘race’ policy, especially at the local level, ‘race’ policy has operated to sweep racism under the carpet or, worse, served to reinforce and institutionalise racism. They illustrate, through case studies of three English regions, how central and local government policies have ‘invisibilised’ race and racism. This, according to the authors, has led to the development of an institutionalised indifference to racial disadvantage, undermining the social welfare of minority ethnic groups in the UK.
Ben Hawkins and Anne Roemer-Mahler argue that it is important not only to consider the impact of business activities on health, but also to foster a deeper and more considered approach to the question of how business interests influence the shape of public health policies and strategies. They argue that the concept of interconnectedness can advance insights into corporate political power and corporate political strategy by utilising literature drawn from political science and management studies. They illustrate that, for their chosen case studies – the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries – four dimensions of interconnectedness are of particular relevance: interconnectedness between markets, industries, levels of governance and branches of government.
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