Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 February 2022
Social Policy Review is an annual publication of the Social Policy Association (SPA), a long-standing and respected British learned society. The SPA has continued to thrive in the last 12 months. One excellent indicator of its continued health and growth is an internationalisation agenda. In her welcome to delegates of the SPA Conference at the University of York in July 2012, the Head of the York Department of Social Policy and Social Work acknowledged the historical significance of the meeting. It was the first time that the SPA Conference was to be held jointly with the East Asian Social Policy Research Network (EASP), ‘an organization of doctoral students and academics interested or involved in the analysis of East Asian social policies’ (EASP, 2013). The conference was widely hailed among delegates from both associations as a major success. The EASP has been working more closely with British scholars in recent years, in particular, with members of the conference host department at York, and international and comparative social policy issues have featured increasingly in research. They are also conspicuous in this volume of Social Policy Review.
Another marker of the geographical expansion of the SPA is seen in the editorial team of the Review. For the first time, the lead editor is Australian, based at the University of Sydney. Also, the ‘shadow editor’, the unnamed fourth member of the editorial team who becomes an editor in the following volume, is a Dutch scholar based at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
Of course, internationalisation does not infer any lack of action on the UK home front. Indeed, as even a casual observer of UK social policy could attest, the opposite is the case. The scope and significance of policy activity within and by the current Coalition government is well worthy of scholarly attention, which it is given especially in Part One. Authors there deal exclusively with important contemporary UK social policy developments and debates. As is customary, Part Two of the volume contains chapters that originated as papers presented at the SPA Conference, in this case, the 2012 meeting. Consistent with the shared conference, these chapters combine East Asian and British perspectives and analyses.