An introduction to Social Policy

Social Policy: Theory and Practice - 3rd edition

Paul Spicker

Social Policy on the Web

The Web offers a growing range of on-line resources in Social Policy, but they are not always easy to access or to use. This section offers a brief guide, with links to key sources. Following the external links on this site will open a new window in your browser, so that you will still have access to this page.

Many of the sites referred to here are meta-links: they offer a gateway to a large number of connected sites.

The links on this page should all open new windows in your browser. This allows you to review the material without leaving this site.

If you have problems with any of the links, please let me know. I have to run a special programme to check links, but sites change their addresses and content so frequently that it is difficult to be certain.

General resources

International sources

These sources offer guides to virtually every country in the world.

Several international organisations produce cross-national statistics. They include:

Social Policy in the European Union

This is, disappointingly, not as well covered as one might hope; the placing of European documentation online is still haphazard.

Social Policy in the United States

is the subject of a wide range of sites. Many are politically charged, and not very well informed about welfare issues.

Social policy in developing countries

This is one of the best served fields. In addition to the World Bank and UNDP, try:

Other countries

Sites dealing with national social policies include:

Social Policy in the United Kingdom

British government reports are now being produced on the web - unfortunately, their location is not always obvious. They are usually produced as House of Commons (HC) or Command (Cm) papers. The main effect of the unified site has been to make it exceedingly difficult to find anything; probably the best way is to search on the title along with 'gov.uk'.

Historical sources include:

Resources on specific subjects

These resources have been referred to in some of the sections of these pages. They include:

Online documents

Apart from government publications, the quality of on-line documentation is mixed: much of what is available are conference papers and occasional papers posted prior to conventional publication. Most documents on-line are versions of printed material; they tend to be large, they are usually presented in PDF format, and they can take a long time to download. This is a fairly miscellaneous list; suggestions would be welcome.

Note too that a growing number of universities are hosting institutional repositories, making academic papers and reports freely available. The open access page on this site contains links to my own materials. Beyond that, as part of my work for Social policy: theory and practice, I have put together a basic list of readings that are available on the internet and relevant to the book's chapters.