The politics of austerity has seen governments across Europe cut back on welfare provision. As the State retreats, this edited collection explores secular and faith-based grassroots social action in Germany and the United Kingdom that has evolved in response to changing economic policy and expanding needs, from basic items such as food to more complex means to move out of poverty.
Bringing together scholars from different disciplines and practitioners in several areas of social intervention, the book explores how the conceptualization and constitutive practices of citizenship and community are changing because of the retreat of the State and the challenge of meeting social and material needs, creating new opportunities for local activism.
The book provides new ways of thinking about social and political belonging and about the relations between individual, collective, and State responsibility.
Shana Cohen is Deputy Director of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, UK and Associate Researcher with the Sociology Department, University of Cambridge. She is leading on a comparative analysis of local responses to austerity in Europe.
Christina Fuhr has a PhD in Sociology from Oxford University. She is currently a Junior Research Fellow at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge and has focused her research on food banks and homeless shelters in Berlin and London.
Jan-Jonathan Bock holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, and is currently a Junior Research Fellow at the Woolf Institute and a Research Associate at St Edmund's College, Cambridge. He is studying crisis experiences, changing practices of citizenship, and realities of pluralism in Berlin and Rome.
Introduction ~ Shana Cohen and Jan-Jonathan Bock;
Part I: The social consequences of welfare policy;
Fulfilling basic human needs: The welfare state after Beveridge ~ Patrick Diamond;
Social division and resentment in the aftermath of the economic Slump ~ Gabriella Elgenius;
Part II: The practice of social good;
Austerity and social welfare in the UK: A perspective from the from advice sector ~ Amardeep Bansil;
Breaking the hold of debt: Cambridge Money Advice Centre ~ John Morris;
Community Finance: The Emergence of Credit Unions in London ~ Paul Jones and Michelle Howlin;
Finding employment and living a good life in London ~ Chris Price;
The Tafel and food poverty in Germany ~ Sabine Werth;
Addressing food poverty in the UK ~ Sarah Greenwood;
Helping the homeless: A soup kitchen in London ~ Martin Stone;
Part III: Social change and neoliberalism;
Social initiatives and social solidarity under austerity ~ Christina Fuhr;
The new economy of poverty ~ Stefan Selke;
Challenges for the struggle against austerity in Britain and Europe ~ Thomas Jeffrey Miley;
Part IV: Situating solidarity in perspective;
Individualism and community in historical perspective ~ Jon Lawrence;
Aiming for re-connection: Responsible citizenship ~ Chris Baker;
Conclusion ~ Jan-Jonathan Bock and Shana Cohen.
"This timely volume engages scholars of citizenship, social activists and those concerned for the future of social democracy in Europe". Bob Deacon, Professor of International Social Policy, University of Sheffield