© 2018

Austerity Policies

Bad Ideas in Practice

  • Peter Rushton
  • Catherine Donovan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Peter Rushton, Catherine Donovan
    Pages 1-17
  3. Austerity: A Break with the Past?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Ilona Buchroth, Linda Hetherington
      Pages 45-66
    3. Sheila Quaid
      Pages 67-88
  4. Undermining Professionals

  5. Some Consequences of Twenty-First Century Austerity

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 267-280

About this book


This book takes up the problems of social policy, state intervention and support in the hard times of austerity introduced by the Coalition government 2010-15, and continued under the Conservative government today. At a time when the economy is growing and pay levels finally rising, the necessity for more cuts in public expenditure is fiercely contested. The scope of state services, the levels of support for people in need, and the kinds of organizations that will deliver the services, will all be profoundly affected in coming years. The authors and editors assess some of these consequences visible now in the impact that expenditure cuts and reorganization have had on many areas of social policy, and explore the direction of change in the near future.

Austerity Policies evaluates a wide range changing forms of state services and the transformations involving both the recipients and those delivering the services. It considers the past, present and future of austerity as a policy, and the problems affecting particular groups such as offenders, looked after children, and professionals such as social care workers and those engaged with domestic violence. The collection will be of interest to students and scholars of social policy, criminology, sociology, politics and media studies. 


Coalition government Conservative government Social exclusion Neoliberalism De-professionalisation

Editors and affiliations

  • Peter Rushton
    • 1
  • Catherine Donovan
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social SciencesFaculty of Education and Society, Reg Vardy CentreSunderlandUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of DurhamDurhamUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Peter Rushton is Professor of Historical Sociology at the University of Sunderland, and leader of the REF Unit in History for the 2014 research exercise.​

Catherine Donovan is a Professor in Social Relations and is Research Lead in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Sunderland. 

Bibliographic information


“This is an excellent addition to the growing literature examining the impact of austerity on individuals, families and communities. … Austerity Policies: Bad Ideas in Practice will be of interest to students, practitioners and other readers from a range of academic and professional backgrounds.” (Ian Cummins, Critical Social Policy, Vol. 39 (3), 2019)