The links on this page are to those books, reports and papers, written by Paul Spicker, which are now available freely on the web. Most are in PDF format, but there are also some ebooks, and some are on web pages.
Eight of Paul Spicker’s books in English are now available without charge. Five of them are kept on this website under a Creative Commons licence. Most are available both in PDF and EPUB (ebook) formats. Two books have been made available by the publishers. Links to all seven are given below:
- Stigma and social welfare (1984)
- Principles of social welfare (1988)
- Poverty and social security (1993)
- Social Policy in a Changing Society (1999)
- The welfare state: a general theory (2000; Revised edition, 2023)
- Liberty, equality, fraternity (2006)
- Poverty: an international glossary (2007)
- The idea of poverty (2007)
- The origins of modern welfare (2010)
Two further books can be loaned from archive.org, without charge, for one-hour periods: free registration is required. The books are:
- Social policy in a changing society (2000), and
- The idea of poverty (2007).
For those who have access to University Press Scholarship Online or Oxford Academic, four other books are also available from that service. They are:
- Reclaiming individualism (2013)
- Thinking Collectively (2019)
- The Poverty of Nations (2020)
- How to fix the welfare state (2022).
Sample chapters from Thinking Collectively and The Poverty of Nations are available on open access at the Robert Gordon University’s repository.
Stigma and social welfare
Originally published by Croom Helm, 1984
Download ebook (PDF laid out for e-reader)
“This intelligent … book demonstrates that many of the preconceptions of social scientists about stigma are ill-founded, and goes on to assess practical policies designed to cope with the problem.” (Peter Taylor-Gooby)
“excellent study … an interesting contribution to the sociology of social welfare” (Bryan S. Turner)
Principles of social welfare: an introduction to thinking
about the welfare state
Originally published by Routledge, 1988
Download ebook (EPUB)
“Enlightening analysis … Spicker’s critique encourages us to re-examine our beliefs and assumptions about the welfare state” (Bill Jordan)
“A concise and valuable introduction to philosophical thinking about the welfare state” (Philosophy Today).
“The book raises searching questions … a useful tool for anyone who teaches or tries to practise the analysis of social welfare.” (Social Work)
Poverty and social security: concepts and principles
Originally published by Routledge, 1993
Download ebook (EPUB)
“The discussion is balanced and generally insightful, and provides a good introduction to readers who are new to the field.” (Contemporary Sociology)
“An entertaining and sometimes controversial examination” (Tony Fitzpatrick)
The welfare state: a general theory
Originally published by Sage, 2000
This book is now freely accessible online, in a revised edition (2023).
Download ebook (EPUB)
Download ebook (Mobi /Kindle)
“This is an audacious book … The attempt to lay out of the propositions of welfare in their barest form, and demonstrate their relations, is novel and challenging. It is the kind of book we may value as much for the disagreements it provokes as the answers it offers.”
(C Clark, in the British Journal of Social Work).
“an excellent attempt at a coherent general theory of the welfare state and a good undergraduate primer on social policy. … he has achieved something rather important … . in an accessible manner that will attract and retain readers at all levels.” (P King, in Housing Studies)
Liberty, equality, fraternity
Published by Policy Press, 2006
“With Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Spicker has eloquently reiterated the moral justification for the presence of the state in the social policy domain.”
Journal of Social Policy, 2008.
“Professor Spicker analyses the complex issues of his subject matter with clarity, cogency and brevity and sets out, with commendable even-handedness, the dilemmas of choice that policy makers confront in the world of practical politics. The clarity of his exposition makes Liberty, equality, fraternity a pleasure to read.”
Poverty: an international glossary
Paul Spicker, Sonia Alvarez Leguizamon, David Gordon (eds) published by Zed Books, 2007
Download PDF, available from CROP-GRIP, the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty
“An indispensable guide … Spicker’s final chapter is a masterly review of the subject.” (David Donnison)
The origins of modern welfare:
Juan Luis Vives, De Subventione Pauperum, and
City of Ypres, Forma Subventionis Pauperum,
edited by Paul Spicker
Originally published by Peter Lang, 2010
The two documents in this edition have some claim to be the earliest ever written about social policy. The first is a commissioned academic report, written for the city of Bruges; the second, an evaluation report of an existing scheme, submitted to the University of the Sorbonne to forestall any accusation of heresy. For the electronic version, the original text has been split into two distinct volumes.
Volume 1: J-L Vives, On the relief of the poor (1525)
Volume 2: City of Ypres, The government of poor relief (1531)
International open-access editions
Poverty: an international glossary is available in a Spanish edition at Paul Spicker, Sonia Alvarez Leguizamón y David Gordon [editores] Pobreza: Un glosario internacional, Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (Buenos Aires) 2010.
Social Policy: Theory and Practice is available in a Polish edition, in two parts: Polityka społeczna – teoria, and Polityka społeczna – praktyka, both published by Centrum Rozwoju Zasobów Ludzkich (Warszawa) 2014.
Principles of Social Welfare is available in an Arabic edition from the Democratic Arabic Center for Strategic, Political and Economic Studies (Germany), 2017.
The Robert Gordon University’s Open Access Institutional Repository, OpenAir, has made several published academic papers available in pre-print versions. Some other papers are available on open access because the journal or the publisher has put them on the web.
- Poverty and depressed estates: a critique of Utopia on Trial, Housing Studies, vol 2 no 4, 1987, pp 283-292.
- Charles Booth: the examination of poverty, Social Policy and Administration, 1990 24(1) pp 21-38.
- Poor areas and the ecological fallacy, Radical statistics 76, 2001
- A different view of welfare dependency (letter), Family Matters (Australian Institute of Family Studies) 58, 2001, p 70
- The rights of the poor, in P Robson, A Kjonstad, Poverty and the Law, Oxford: Hart, 2001
- Income and Wealth, in M May, E Brunsdon, R Page, Understanding social problems, Oxford: Blackwell, 2001, pp 130-146.
- Poverty and the Welfare State: dispelling the myths, London: Catalyst, 2002, 44 pp.
- BBC report: Underclass is a myth, 28th August 2002
- Exclusion and rights, in L Williams, A Kjonstad, Law and poverty, London: Zed, 2003.
- Moray against Poverty, Voices from the Edge, 2004
- Developing indicators: issues in the use of quantitative data about poverty, Policy and Politics 2004 32(4) pp. 431-40.
- Submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee: Child Poverty, Scottish Parliament 2008 6 pp.
- Taking forward the Government’s Economic Strategy: response to the discussion paper, Scottish Government, 2008 6 pp.
- Evidence to the Local Government and Communities Committee, Local Government and Communities Committee Official Report, Scottish Parliament 26th November 2008
- Paul Spicker, Sonia Alvarez Leguizamón y David Gordon [editores] Pobreza: Un glosario internacional, Buenos Aires: Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales 2010, 320 pp.
- Poverty, democratic governance and poverty reduction strategies, 1 Uluslararasi Sosiyal Politikalar Sempozyyumu, Istanbul, Turkey, 15th June 2012.
- Troubled families: what is an ‘official statistic’?, Radical Statistics 2013 108 pp 47-52.
- Poverty as a wicked problem, Bergen: Comparative Research Programme on Poverty, 2016.
- Social exclusion and the relational elements of poverty, in G Koelhler, A Cimadamore, F Kiwan, P Gonzalez (eds), The politics of social inclusion, 2020, Stuttgart: Ibidem Press, pp 81-98.
- Austerity and poverty, in B Greve (ed.) 2021, Handbook of austerity, populism and the welfare state, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pages 130-141.
- Inserting the excluded: the impact of the Revenu Minimum d’Insertion on poverty in France, Social Work in Europe 1995 22 pp 8-14
- Social security and social protection for people with disabilities or incapacity for work, International Social Security Association Conference, Helsinki, 2000.
- Our budget under attack: estimating social security fraud, Radical Statistics 1997 70
- Five types of complexity, Benefits, 2005, 13 (1), pp. 5 – 9.
- Myths of absenteeism mask the true issues to be addressed on incapacity, The Scotsman 27th November 2007, pp 50-1.
- Benefits have far wider role than helping the jobless, Scotsman 8th October 2009.
- The Universal Credit scheme is only half-baked, The
Guardian 19th January 2011, Society Guardian section, p 4.
- Welfare reform has the makings of a nightmare as jobs disappear, Scotsman 15th January 2009.
- P Spicker, L Simpson (eds) The cuts, Radical Statistics 2010 no 103
- Can we afford to support older people?, The Herald, 18th December 2012.
- Welfare dependency: use and abuse of statistics, The Conversation, 24th May 2013.
- Response to the call for evidence from the Expert Working Group, 13th December 2013.
- Universal Credit: Don’t blame the IT, Computer Weekly, February 2014.
- Better Together: Pensions, in J Ross, Scottish Independence: can you trust the campaign posters? BBC News Scotland Politics.
- Developing a social security system for Scotland, Chartered Institute of Housing, July 2014; and short introductory article, Developing a Scottish benefit system, Chartered Institute of Housing, August 2014.
- The proposed draft clauses on welfare: submission to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee and Evidence to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, 19.2.2015
- The devolution of social security benefits in Scotland: the Smith
Commission. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 2015, 23(1), pages 17-28.
- New benefit powers for Scotland, Glasgow: Poverty Alliance.
- What can the Scottish Parliament do with new social security powers? Glasgow: Common Weal
- The takeup of benefits: lessons from the UK. In Van Hootegem, H (ed.) Poverty and ineffectiveness of rights. Bruges: Die Keure, 2017.
- The Future of Social Security in Scotland: views from within the system, Glasgow: Public and Commercial Services Union, 2017.
- A correspondence between Paul Spicker and Malcolm Torry, Citizens Basic Income Trust, 6th August 2017.
- Universal Basic Income in the UK, Citizens Income Network Scotland, 12th September 2018.
- Basic Income, human rights and equality, Citizens Income Network Scotland, 25th September 2018
- Basic Income and housing, Citizens Income Network Scotland, 11th October 2018
- UBI, child care and unpaid caring, Citizens Income Network Scotland, October 2018
- Some reservations about Basic Income, Scottish Universities Insight Unit, April 2019.
- Evidence on take-up to the Social Security Committee of the Scottish Parliament, and Official Report of proceedings, 2019
- The economics of Universal Credit – submission to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, 2020
- Benefit levels in the UK: written evidence, House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee, 2023.
- Discretion in overpayment recovery, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 2023.
- The principle of subsidiarity and the social policy of the European
Community, Journal of European Social Policy 1991 1(1) 3-14
- Needs as claims, Social Policy and Administration 1993 27(1), pp 7-17.
- Social policy in a federal Europe, Social Policy and Administration 1996 30(4) 293-304.
- Targeting and strategic intervention, International Social Security Association Conference, Jerusalem 1998.
- There and back again: the Welfare State, 1942-1990, Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique, 2001 11(1) 41-56
- P Spicker, S Morris, V Strachan, Consultation on the review of Scottish charity law, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit 2002, 85pp.
- V Strachan, P Spicker, S Morris, T Damjanovic, 2004, The consultation on Civil Partnership Registration: analysis of the responses, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive
- Understanding incentives, Annexure 1 of M Steele (ed), Report on
incentive structures of social assistance grants in South Africa, South Africa: Republic of South Africa Department of Social Development, 2006.
- The nature of a public service, International Journal of Public Administration 2009 32(11) pp 970-991.
- Leadership: a perniciously vague concept, International Journal of Public Sector Management 2012 25(1) 34-47.
- M Danson, R McAlpine, P Spicker, W Sullivan, 2012. The case for universalism, Biggar, Jimmy Reid Foundation, 18 pp.
- Universality vs Selectivity, Scottish Left Review 82, May/June 2014, p 7.
- Seven principles of public life: time to rethink. Public Money and Management, 2014 34(1), pages 11-18.
- A condensed history of social policy in England in the UK (a recording of an interview via Skype with Yohai Hakak), 7 July 2015
Applied social theory
- State intervention and social justice, Trent Law Journal 1981 5 pp 59-66
- Why freedom implies equality, Journal of Applied Philosophy 1985 2(2) pp 205-216.
- Social work and self-determination, British Journal of Social Work, 1990 vol 20 pp 221-236.
- Mental handicap and citizenship, Journal of Applied Philosophy 1990 vol 7 no 2, pp 139-151.
- Equality versus solidarity, Government and Opposition 1992 27(1) pp 66-77.
- Understanding particularism, Critical Social Policy 1994 13(39) 5-20.
- Social insecurity and social protection, in R Edwards, J Glover (eds) Risk and citizenship: key issues in welfare, Routledge, 2001, pp 19-30.
- Solidarity between generations, paper presented to the International Social Security Association research conference, Antwerp, May 2003.
- Liberal welfare states, in B Greve (ed) 2013, The Routledge handbook of the welfare state, ch 19.
- Cohesion, exclusion and social quality. International journal of social quality, 2014, 4(1), pages 95-107
- The principles of the Common Weal, Common Weal, March 2014.
- Policy translation: a reply. Global Discourse, 2015, 6(1-2), pages 116-118
- Economics as practical wisdom, Real World Economics Review 75 June 2016 pp 113-125
- Arguments for welfare, Rowman and Littlefield 2017: chapter 11 is available here.
- Thinking collectively, Policy Press 2019: chapter 1 is available here
- Fraternity and solidarity: socialist thought and social policy, Hemeneutica Nuevo Serie 2022, Fraternità senza terrore
Health and social care
- Packages of care: the reform of community care, University of Dundee 1992.
- P Spicker, J Hanslip, Perceived mismatches between needs and services in the health care of elderly people, Scottish Medical Journal, 39(6) 1994, pp 172-174.
- N Crockett, P Spicker, Discharged: homelessness among psychiatric patients in Scotland, Shelter (Scotland) 1994
- P Spicker, J Hanslip, Matching services to needs in the health care of elderly people, Health Services Management Research 1997 10(2) p 113-120.
- P Spicker, D Gordon Planning for the needs of people with dementia, Scottish Medical Journal, 1992 vol 37 no 2, pp 38-39.
- Dementia and social death, Self Agency and Society 2(2) 88-104 2000.
- What is a priority?, Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 2009 14(2) 112-6
- Personalisation falls short, British Journal of Social Work 2012 doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcs063
Several of these pieces were originally published by Shelter, or by Roof, Shelter’s magazine. Shelter have asked me to stress that they were written some time ago and do not necessarily reflect Shelter’s current policies.
- The allocation of council housing, Shelter, 1983
- Concepts of need in housing allocation, Policy and Politics, vol 15 no. 1, 1987, pp 17-27.
- In defence of council housing management, published as ‘New landlords, same old problems’, Roof, May/June 1988, pp 42-43.
- Rent control: is history repeating itself?,
published as ‘Wrong foot forward’, Roof, Jan.-Feb. 1988, pp. 42-43.
- Who gets housed?, Roof, March/April 1989 p. 30.
- Charles Booth: Housing and poverty in Victorian London,
published as ‘Victorian values’, in Roof, 1989 14, 38-40, and reprinted in C Grant (ed) Built to last?, Roof 1992, and J Goodwin and C Grant, (eds) Built to last, Roof 1997.
- Access to social housing in Scotland, Shelter (Scotland) 1991
- Housing and community care in Scotland, Shelter (Scotland) 1993.
- Low income owner occupation in Scotland, Shelter Scotland 1996.
- Housing and social exclusion, Shelter Scotland 1998.
- Policy and planning for homeless people in Scotland, Shelter Scotland 2001.
Social Policy as an academic discipline
- Social policy under threat, SPA News, May 2002 pp 11-12
- Saving social policy, Policy World, August 2004, pp 8-9. (The toe-curling poem written for the 2004 SPA plenary is reproduced on the blog.)
- Research without consent, Social Research Update 2007 no. 51, 4 pp
- The ethics of policy research, Evidence and Policy 2007 3(1) pp 99-118.
- P Spicker, D Byrne, Unethical guidelines, Policy World Spring 2010.
- Ethical covert research, Sociology 2011 45(1) pp 1-16.
- Generalisation and phronesis: rethinking the methodology of social policy, Journal of Social Policy 2011 40(1) pp 1-19.
- The real dependent variable problem: the limitations of quantitative analysis in comparative policy studies, Social Policy and Administration 2017 DOI 10.1111/spol.12308
- Research is not a private matter, ch 3 of R Iphofen, D O’Matuna (eds) Ethical issues in covert, security and surveillance research, Emerald.
- One size fits all? The problems of offering ethical guidance to everyone, chapter 2 of R Iphofen, D O’Matuna (eds) Ethical evidence and policymaking, Policy Press 2022
- Ethical research in public policy, chapter 7 of R Iphofen, D O’Matuna (eds) Ethical evidence and policymaking, Policy Press 2022
Further Readings in social policy, by a wide range of authors, have been selected to complement Social Policy: Theory and Practice.