Over half a century ago, social policy research clearly demonstrated the problem of poverty in an unequal society, a problem that has never really gone away (Titmuss, 1938). More recently, one particular book has done much to champion the cause for greater equality. In so doing, it has reignited old debates about poverty and inequality in new and important ways. That book is of course The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett – a book that has made a rare transfer from the academic world into the public domain, selling over 200,000 copies and with translations in more than twenty languages. The Spirit Level (currently) has over 2,000 citations on Google scholar and Richard’s TED talk has over 1.6 million viewings, making the importance of this work beyond question. In fact, The Spirit Level is probably the most influential book in social policy published in the last decade.
- social policy