In Defence of Welfare

Journal of Social Policy Social Policy and Society Social Policy Review Policy World Understanding Welfare Series Understanding Welfare Series

SPA Publications


Journal of Social Policy

Journal of Social Policy

The Journal of Social Policy carries high quality articles on all aspects of social policy in an international context. It places particular emphasis upon articles which seek to contribute to debates on the future direction of social policy, to present new empirical data, to advance theories, or to analyse issues in the making and implementation of social policies.






Social Policy Digest

Social Policy Digest

The Social Policy Digest is a major online resource providing up-to-date listings of developments across the whole range of social policy issues. The Digest is published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Social Policy Association. In addition to full coverage of UK developments, the Digest has a new section (December 2010) dealing with pan-European social policy issues. The Digest is a freely accessible resource. Simply go to The Social Policy Digest page. The database of material dates back to 2002 - by the end of 2011 it contained over 33,000 separate items. To be notified of Digest updates automatically, simply use one of the news feeds provided (RSS or Atom). Digest updates are also available via Facebook and Twitter. Subject categories in the Digest database include: poverty, inequality and social security; unemployment and work; education; health; social services and care; housing; local communities and services; crime and justice; and voluntary activity and civil society. Cross-cutting categories include: children and the family; disability; gender and sexuality; mental health; old age; race and ethnicity; and young people. There are also listings relating to social policy developments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each entry provides a summary of the source document, together with source references and online links.




Social Policy and Society

Social Policy and Society

Social Policy and Society is an international academic journal sponsored by the UK Social Policy Association. The journal welcomes stimulating original articles that draw upon contemporary policy-related research and associated developments in the social sciences. Each issue contains peer reviewed articles reflecting topical debates and issues within social policy and uniquely, a themed section, edited by a Guest Editor(s). Every themed section includes an introductory piece, a set of peer reviewed articles, a selected review of the key literature, plus a guide to key sources in the area.



Social Policy Review

Social Policy Review

The Social Policy Review is an edited collection of papers examining current developments and debates in social policy. It is produced once a year and published by the Policy Press. SPA members receive a free copy as part of their membership package. Full information on the current volume and recent back issues can be found on the Policy Press website along with an online ordering facility.





Policy World

Policy World

Policy World, the SPA's newsletter and magazine, is published three times per year. Each edition carries a themed section focussing on a topical social policy issue as well as debates, event announcements and reviews, and new publications. Back copies of Policy World are available free of charge online on the Policy World pages of the site.






Understanding Welfare Series

Understanding welfare series

This bestselling series presents topical and innovative approaches to understanding social issues, policies and welfare delivery from leading experts. Accessible and student friendly, each includes chapter-specific summaries, questions for discussion, illustrative boxes and diagrams to help understanding and full bibliographies. Each book is Social Policy Subject Benchmark compliant, and with an attractive series design this collection builds into a library of essential reading for students.






One-off SPA Publications



In Defence of Welfare

In Defence of Welfare

In Defence of Welfare was published in early 2011 and brings together responses from social policy experts to a range of different aspects of the Coalition government's planned reforms of - and cuts to - to welfare provision.








SPA Guidelines on Research Ethics

SPA Guidelines on Research Ethics

The purpose of these Guidelines on Research Ethics is to provide a framework to help members of the Social Policy Association (SPA) identify and address the different kinds of ethical issues which may arise in the conduct of social policy research. They do not replace the need to engage in dialogue, training and debate around research ethics; nor the need to seek formal approval from an appropriate Research Ethics Committee.





Defining research quality in social policy

Defining research quality in social policy

Defining 'Quality' in Social Policy Research: Views, perceptions and a framework for discussion by Saul Becker, Alan Bryman and Joe Sempik. This report presents the findings from an innovative mixed methods study of over 250 social policy researchers and users of research and how they conceptualise 'quality' in social policy research and how they judge the quality of published research texts.






Experiences of REF Impact Pilots

Experiences of REF Impact Pilots

The Higher Education Funding Councils have proposed that the impact of research should form part of the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF). Because the assessment of research impact is a new endeavour, the approach and methodology have been piloted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), in four subject areas. Social Policy and Social Work (SPSW) is one of these four areas. Eleven universities were involved in the SPSW research impact pilots. The Social Policy Association (SPA) and the Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee (JUC-SWEC) organised a seminar to share experiences of the pilot and the challenges this raised.


Discussion document: SPSW-Sociology REF panel?

Discussion document on potential SPSW and Sociology REF panel merger

SPA has been asked by the British Sociological Association to consider whether it would support a single, merged Panel in the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework. In November 2009, SPA consulted members on this through the social-policy email list; and also sought the views of the 2008 RAE Social Administration, Social Policy and Social Work Panel. On the basis of this consultation, SPA sent the following letter to HEFCE in December 2009 setting out SPA's position.







Editorial Board Nominations 2012



  • Nomination for the Editorial Board Journal of Social Policy 2012
  • Nomination for the Editorial Board Journal of Social Policy and Society 2012
  • Minutes of SPA Executive meetings



  • Minutes of the SPA Executive September 2012
  • Minutes of the SPA Executive July 2012
  • Minutes of the SPA Executive April 2012
  • Minutes of the SPA Executive Jan 2012
  • Minutes of the SPA Executive Apr 2011
  • Minutes of the SPA Executive Jan 2011
  • Minutes of the SPA Executive Sep 2010
  • Annual financial accounts of the SPA



    SPA Treasurers report year ending December 2011

    SPA 	Treasurers report 2011

    SPA Treasurers report 2011.









    SPA financial accounts year ending 2009

    SPA Financial Accounts 2009

    SPA Financial Accounts 2009. This document shows the Social Policy Association financial accounts for the year ending 2009 as presented at the SPA AGM 2010 in Lincoln.









    SPA financial accounts year ending 2008

    SPA Financial Accounts 2008

    SPA Financial Accounts 2008. This document shows the Social Policy Association financial accounts for the year ending 2008 as presented at the SPA AGM 2009 in Edinburgh.









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