2016: Terry Eagleton, Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, delivers the ninth annual Theos lecture
The future of welfare: a Theos collection
19th February 2014
The Welfare State is in a state of crisis – at least that is what the British public thinks.
Nearly nine in ten agree that the welfare state is currently “facing severe problems”, a majority (57%) believes it will shrink over the next generation and, more ominously, nearly a quarter thinks it will no longer be around in thirty years’ time.
A sense of crisis and urgency does not necessarily translate into clarity of purpose or direction, however, and public opinion of what is to be done is far from unambiguous.
This collection explores this question by addressing the key underlying issue: what is welfare for? Without thinking through the purpose of welfare, the volume argues, we are unlikely to reform it in anything more than a piecemeal and pragmatic way.
In the light of this, Theos invited some of the country’s leading thinkers on welfare to explore the moral logic of, and future hopes for, the welfare state. With a wide range of contributions from politics, think tanks and academia, a foreword from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and an afterword from Tony Blair’s former Head of the No. 10 Policy Unit, The Future of Welfare is a uniquely broad and important contribution to one of the biggest domestic political debates of the early 21st century.
Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith (Foreword)
Malcolm Brown, Church of England
Shenaz Bunglawala, Engage
Ed Cox, IPPR North
Frank Field MP
David Goodhart, Demos
Christian Guy, Centre for Social Justice
Jill Kirby, formerly Centre for Policy Studies
John Milbank, University of Nottingham
Duncan O’Leary, Demos
Adrian Pabst, University of Kent
Ruth Porter, Institute of Economic Affairs
Anna Rowlands, King’s College, London
Nick Spencer, Theos (Ed.)
Stephen Timms MP
Matthew Taylor, RSA (Afterword)