Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Devolution and social citizenship in the UK

Devolution and social citizenship in the UK

Edited by Scott L. Greer
Copyright Date: 2009
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Devolution and social citizenship in the UK
    Book Description:

    Most of the expansive literature on social citizenship follows its leading thinker, T. H. Marshall, and talks only about the British state, often referring only to England. But social citizenship rights require taxation, spending, effective public services and politics committed to them. They can only be as strong as politics makes them. That means that the distinctive territorial politics of the UK are reshaping citizenship rights as they reshape policies, obligations and finance across the UK. This timely book explores how changing territorial politics are impacting on social citizenship rights across the UK. The contributors contend that whilst territorial politics have always been major influences in the meaning and scope of social citizenship rights, devolved politics are now increasingly producing different social citizenship rights in different parts of the UK. Moreover, they are doing it in ways that few scholars or policymakers expect or can trace. Drawing on extensive research over the last 10 years, the book brings together leading scholars of devolution and citizenship to chart the connection between the politics of devolution and the meaning of social citizenship in the UK. The first part of the book connects the large, and largely distinct, literatures on citizenship, devolution and the welfare state. The empirical second part identifies the different issues that will shape the future territorial politics of citizenship in the UK: intergovernmental relations and finance; policy divergence; bureaucratic politics; public opinion; and the European Union. It will be welcomed by academics and students in social policy, public policy, citizenship studies, politics and political science.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-365-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. List of tables and figures
    (pp. iv-v)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  5. Notes on contributors
    (pp. vii-x)
  6. ONE Introduction: devolution and citizenship rights
    (pp. 1-20)
    Scott L. Greer and Margitta Mätzke

    Tabloid headlines are ephemeral. Patches of prose in government documents with no policy attached have scarcely less shelf life. But they are signs: signs that politicians, tabloid journalists and others sense something is happening. What is happening is the evolution of citizenship rights in the UK, brought on by devolution.

    Citizenship talk is everywhere. Much of it is as insubstantial as a tabloid story, and much of it is much less amusing to read. Some make efforts to use citizenship as a concept that might change society, whether through ‘citizenship education’ in the schools or through lectures about good behaviour....

  7. Part I T.H. Marshall

    • TWO Equality and Marshallian citizenship: why E does not equal MC
      (pp. 23-38)
      Martin Powell

      T.H. Marshall is probably one of the leading cited authors in social policy. According to Harris (2004, p 81) Marshall is the most influential and oft-cited work on citizenship published in Britain over the course of the 20th century. Barbalet (1988, Preface) states that today it is almost impossible to pick up a sociology journal that does not contain an article with at least some reference to his work. Heater (1990, p 265) writes that nothing quite so absorbs the attention of scholars and politicians when contemplating the nature of citizenship today as the social rights which adhere to its...

    • THREE Citizenship in space and time: observations on T.H. Marshall’s Citizenship and social class
      (pp. 39-56)
      Daniel Wincott

      One of Marshall’s most memorable maxims casts citizenship as a ‘status extended to all those who are full members of the community’ (1950 [1992], p 18, also p 6). The key reference here – to community – remains somewhat obscure (it is worth noting that Marshall sometimes seems to use it interchangeably with ‘society’); it has attracted surprisingly little detailed analysis. I focus on Marshall’s depiction of equality as a defining feature of democratic community membership, that is, of citizenship. Marshall treats ‘equality’ as a social-political construction, that is, as the product of norms emerging from social interaction as well...

    • FOUR Social citizenship and the question of gender: the suitability and possibilities of a Marshallian framework
      (pp. 57-70)
      Richenda Gambles and Adam Whitworth

      In this chapter, we reflect on T.H. Marshall’s theory from a gender perspective and explore the extent to which a gendered analysis of welfare provisions challenges the ‘universal’ and ‘inclusive’ claims of Marshall’s account of citizenship. In doing so we aim to consider the suitability, problems and possibilities of a Marshallian approach to citizenship from a gender perspective. We begin by considering women’s relationship with welfare: how women’s entitlement to social rights has been compromised because of their gender and the ways in which this creates their paradoxical inclusion and exclusion from citizenship. We then discuss some of the policy...

  8. Part II Territorial politics and citizenship rights

    • FIVE Devolution, public attitudes and social citizenship
      (pp. 73-96)
      Charlie Jeffery

      One of the most enduring debates about decentralised forms of government has been the tension between equity and diversity. Postwar conceptions of the welfare state have stressed the principle of state-wide equality of citizens’ rights of access to public services. But federal, regional and devolved forms of government enable territorially differentiated packages of public services. And decentralised government has become significantly more widespread and more powerful over the last 30 years (Marks et al, 2008). The scope for tension between the equity goals of the welfare state and the diversity of outcomes that decentralised government brings has grown.

      This chapter...

    • SIX Social citizenship, devolution and policy divergence
      (pp. 97-116)
      Michael Keating

      Marshall’s essay on civil, political and social rights is framed by the nation-state. While many readers will find his reference to this state as England irritating, he does at least implicitly make a correct point, that by his time these rights were largely equalised over Great Britain (although not the United Kingdom). Civil rights were achieved during the 18th and 19th century. Political rights were equalised among the constituent nations with the uniform franchise provisions of 1884. The foundations of the welfare state under the Liberal government after 1906 and its development by the Labour government after 1945 were British...

    • SEVEN Un-joined-up government: intergovernmental relations and citizenship rights
      (pp. 117-136)
      Alan Trench

      While there are obvious connections between devolution in general and citizenship rights, the relationship between intergovernmental relations and citizenship rights is not immediately evident. At least between 1999 and 2007, intergovernmental relations were a relatively obscure and technical aspect of the working of devolution in the United Kingdom (as it is in many federal systems), more suited to discussions of the practicalities of public administration than to issues of principle like citizenship rights, or the macro-level discussions of the working of welfare states that often accompany them. However, this chapter will argue that the two are connected; that the UK’s...

    • EIGHT Social citizenship and intergovernmental finance
      (pp. 137-160)
      Iain McLean, Guy Lodge and Katie Schmuecker

      Social citizenship rights only become meaningful when there is money to make them a reality. In federal or devolved political systems intergovernmental finances can determine who sets social citizenship rights. For instance, a system that provides devolved administrations with an unconditional block grant, when combined with substantial devolution of political powers, enables the administration to alter the citizenship rights available to its citizens. On the other hand, in a system where devolved administrations’ grants are conditional and key legislative powers remain with the federal or central government, it is central government that will dominate the country’s social citizenship agenda. But...

    • NINE How uniform are uniform services? Towards a geography of citizenship
      (pp. 161-174)
      Martin Powell

      This chapter further explores the thesis in Chapter Two of this volume that Marshallian citizenship cannot be linked with simple notions of equality: that E does not MC (see also Daniel Wincott, Chapter Three, this volume; Christie et al, 2007). It focuses on the geography of citizenship, and examines the question: how uniform are ‘uniform’ services? Bogdanor (2003, in Wincott, 2006, p 170) asserts that New Labour displays a preference for diversity over uniformity, making it harder for a government of the left to secure equality of conditions in different parts of the UK. The welfare state was based on...

    • TEN Ever closer union: devolution, the European Union and social citizenship rights
      (pp. 175-196)
      Scott L. Greer

      Quite often the point of decentralisation is to defend or extend social citizenship. As chapters in this book, and other works, have argued, that is to a large extent the case in the UK. And quite often the point of Europeanisation is said to be the same: to defend or extend social citizenship. The call of a European social model is a powerful one, and so is the call of a Europe of the regions. Put them together and the future for distinctive and extensive social citizenship rights looks bright.

      But is it? This chapter asks what effects Europeanisation has...

  9. ELEVEN Conclusion
    (pp. 197-204)
    Scott L. Greer

    It would not be much of an overstatement to say that citizenship should be and is the key term for understanding the relationship of individuals and modern democratic states. It combines belonging, solidarity, rights and responsibilities into something powerful, normatively freighted and often very diffuse. For all its complexities and fuzzy borders, citizenship is a powerful tool to understand the normative and political issues at work in the UK’s territorial politics.

    Devolution shapes citizenship in the UK, but going beyond platitudes demands looking into some areas of policy, such as intergovernmental finance and European Union (EU) policy making, that are...

  10. References
    (pp. 205-230)
  11. Index
    (pp. 231-238)