This volume explains the significance of postmodernism for understanding social welfare. The author provides readers with a relevant and authoritative guide to postmodern welfare since the last two decades have witnessed a sustained assault on the Keynesian "welfare state". Throughout the West governments have sought to replace the post-war welfare compact with neo-conservative individualism which has championed reduced taxation, increased profitability, market competitiveness and minimal residual public services. The alternatives for the Left - for feminists, socialists, those struggling against racism and for minority cultural rights - look bleak. Postmodernism appears to have compounded the problem by questioning the validity of a mass politics of emancipation based upon universal values of justice, reason and progress. Leonard develops a particular reading of the impact of postmodernism in a number of areas of social theory and political practice. His aim is to consider how positive and creative thinking about welfare can be reconstructed.
Peter Leonard, Professor at the School of Social Work at McGill University, Canada, and was previously Professor of Applied Social Sciences, University of Warwick, UK. He has written extensively on social theory and social welfare, and is the author of five books, including Social Work Practice Under Capitalism (with Paul Corrig, Macmillan, 1978); and Personality and Ideology (Macmillan, 1984).