Review of Herbert Obinger, Klaus Petersen and Peter Starke, eds., Warfare and welfare: military conflict and welfare state development in western countries, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Pp. xvii+481. ISBN: 978-0-19-877959-9

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    This book is primarily concerned with the relationship between war and social policy during the twentieth century. As the editors note, this period witnessed two world wars and unprecedented increases in the scale and scope of state welfare provision. The book therefore aims to examine the extent to which these two developments were connected.

    The relationship between war and social policy has been examined by a number of previous authors. The editors pay particular attention to Richard Titmuss’s essay on ‘War and social policy’, which was published in 1958. Titmuss himself drew heavily on Stanislaw Andrzejewski’s ‘sweeping, untidy but brilliant’ account of Military organisation and society, published four years earlier. The impact of war also played a central role in Peacock and Wiseman’s study of The growth of public expenditure in the UK (Princeton University Press, 1961). The latter argued that war played a critical role in the growth of public spending as a result of its inspection, concentration and displacement effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages3
    JournalSocial Policy and Administration
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jan 2019


    • book review
    • war
    • social policy
    • twentieth century

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