Precarious States: political economies of care

This event has finished Took place on: Thursday, 22nd Feb 2018

Where is welfare now coming from? What can anthropological research bring to debates about a new social contract for the 21st century?

The UK’s Beveridge Report sought to tackle "Five Giants" of social need: Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. The report exemplified a new set of moral expectations for governance, in which the social health of nation-states would be attained by guaranteeing the social welfare of their citizens. Presently such expectations have taken on a disjunctive quality: citizens are still expected to behave in certain ways, but the state’s ability to keep its side of the bargain has been dramatically transformed by neoliberalism and post-crisis austerity measures. Life is now defined by precarity: both as an everyday experience of insecure incomes, homes or legal statuses, and as an index of a social contract that is no longer secure.

What do the "Five Giants" look like today - after decades of managed decline and a new set of social, economic and political problems to go alongside the old? How are they are being reshaped by the contemporary welfare state and its continual reconfiguration? Without glorifying either the past or the present, we use an anthropological approach to examine current problems while also subjecting the early welfare state to scrutiny. Through case studies on housing, immigration and debt, we ask: who is now providing the care and support that Beveridge once envisaged the welfare state as guaranteeing? And what is produced through these ‘political economies of care’?

The event will be introduced by Insa Koch and structured around four short presentations from our research team (Ryan Davey, Ana Gutierrez, Anna Tuckett and Matt Wilde). This will be followed by a conversation with advice practitioners Peter Tutton and Jackie Peacock, and then a wider reflection from Laura Bear. Questions from the floor will be open during the final section.

Laura Bear is Professor of Anthropology at LSE.

Insa Koch is Assistant Professor of Law at LSE.

Jackie Peacock (@JackyBPTRG1) is Director of Advice4Renters (@advice4renters).

Peter Tutton is head of policy at StepChange Debt Charity (@StepChange).

Ryan Davey, Ana Gutierrez and Matt Wilde (@fiadhmata) are anthropologists currently working as postdoctoral fellows on the ESRC project An Ethnography of Advice: Between Market, Society and the Declining Welfare State, in the Department of Anthropology at LSE.

Deborah James (@djameslse) is Professor of Anthropology at LSE.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEBeveridge #LSEFestival

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0 running from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 February 2018, with a series of events rethinking the welfare state for the 21st century and the global context. The full programme will be online in January 2018.

Cost: Free of Charge


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More information at this website.

2018-02-22 2018-02-22 Europe/London Precarious States: political economies of care Where is welfare now coming from? What can anthropological research bring to debates about a new social contract for the 21st century? https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2018/02/22/precarious-states-political-economies-of-care-161131 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE),Lincolns Inns Fields,London,London

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