The Web offers a growing range of on-line resources in Social
Policy, but they are not always easy to access or to use. This section
offers a brief guide, with links to key sources. Following the external
links on this site will open a new window in your browser, so that you
will still have access to this page.
Many of the sites referred to here are meta-links: they offer a
gateway to a large number of connected sites.
The links on this page should all open new windows in your browser.
This allows you to review the material without leaving this site.
If you have problems with any of the links, please let me know. I have to run
a special programme to check links, but sites change their addresses
and content so frequently that it is difficult to be certain.
The British Library's Social Welfare Portal has links to extensive
numbers of online documents, and a service which lists summaries of new
literature in a monthly digest.
Library for Global Welfare has links to
international organisations, datasets, academic departments,
educational material and so forth. It can be difficult to browse - use
the 'Advanced Filters'.
The University of Amsterdam has a wide-ranging guide to sociology resources.
Topics include ageing, poverty, gender, justice, welfare, housing,
These sources offer guides to virtually every country in the world.
The OECD (Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development) covers the leading industrial
countries. Their work iincludes statistical data as well as reports on
pensions, families and children, disabled, on income distribution and
poverty, etc.is reported
Sites dealing with national social policies include:
Canadian Social Research Links offers a very wide range of
: Gerhard Bäcker's site (in German) links to other German social policy
Japan: Social Security in Japan: towards a
Japanese model of the Welfare State, by Naomi Maruo.
Social Policy in the United Kingdom
British government reports are now being produced on the web -
unfortunately, their location is not always obvious. They are usually
produced as House of Commons (HC) or Command (Cm) papers. The main
effect of the unified site has been to make it exceedingly difficult to
find anything; probably the best way is to search on the title along
Social Policy Digest Online. This is a valuable
resource listing most major issues and publications in the field in the
UK, with some international coverage.
carries briefings on issues, and links to online papers from all the
has a wide ranging coverage of health and social care, including a
resource bank on social work law and policy.
workhouse. This extensive site contains text, images and archival
material on the Poor Laws.
The National Trust has acquired the building of a
former workhouse in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.
Pathé News. Pathé News has video clips covering aspects of British
history from 1896 to 1970. There are free previews and stills available
on (for example) Beveridge and the National Health Service.
The National Archive has a worthwhile "exhibition" on
citizenship rights which includes materials on the welfare state.
Resources on specific subjects
These resources have been referred to in some of the sections of
these pages. They include:
Apart from government publications, the quality of on-line
documentation is mixed: much of what is available are conference papers
and occasional papers posted prior to conventional publication. Most
documents on-line are versions of printed material; they tend to be
large, they are usually presented in PDF format, and they can take a
long time to download. This is a fairly
miscellaneous list; suggestions would be welcome.
The British Library's Social Welfare Portal, mentioned above, has links
to an extensive range of online documents.
The World Bank has an e-library, including a range of social policy
materials classified by region.
The British Medical
Journal is available on the web, covering issues in health care,
social need and administration.