Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The art of the possiblePolitics and governance in modern British history, 18851997: Essays in memory of Duncan Tanner$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Chris Williams and Andrew Edwards

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090714

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090714.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 12 June 2021

The ‘Big State’ versus the ‘Big Society’ in twentieth-century Britain

The ‘Big State’ versus the ‘Big Society’ in twentieth-century Britain

(p.32) 2 The ‘Big State’ versus the ‘Big Society’ in twentieth-century Britain
The art of the possible

Pat Thane

Manchester University Press

This essay challenges the notion, promoted by the current government, that over the twentieth century the growth of the ‘Big State’ has squeezed out voluntary action, also known as the ‘Big Society’. Rather it argues that Britain has always had a ‘mixed economy of welfare’, with state and voluntary welfare playing shifting roles, both complementary and conflicting. The voluntary sector has innovated important welfare policies and has seen part of its role, since the nineteenth century, as demanding improved state action; while the state has never been able to provide for everyone in need and has depended upon the voluntary sector, often more than it has admitted. The argument will be illustrated by surveying major areas of social welfare since the beginning of the twentieth century and examining the relationship between state and voluntary action in attempting to deal with them.

Keywords:   State, Society, Voluntary action, Welfare State

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.