What Is Social Policy?

Modified: 10th Jan 2018
Wordcount: 2497 words

Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay. Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.
This essay is not an endorsement of any political party or statement. UKEssays.ae does not accept payment of any kind for the publishing of political content, it has been published for educational purposes only.

Cite This

Essay Topic: What is social policy and why is it controversial?

Write an essay in which you explore the topic of social policy giving consideration to differing theoretical debates, positions and arguments for and against the provision of social policy as well as the nature of wellbeing in society. Use New Zealand examples to support your discussion.

Marks will be allocated based on:

  • The breadth of your reading and the sources you use to develop your argument.
  • Your ability to develop a strong and effective argument, with a good introduction and conclusion.
  • Your use of references, taking into account accuracy, suitability and conformity to the Style Guide for this paper.
  • The level of originality which you bring to the topic.
  • The extent that you cover the topic fairly and comprehensively.


Wellbeing is a relatively new concept it references draw from a satisfactory in good health and happiness through having material or attitude compare to others in society. Social policy has long been a material well being as to response to a basic needs create a safe environment, providing food and shelter. In the mid of rising populations and rapid social change and uncertainty, Social policy regards to well being becoming more important to response to more complex needs as by far is hard to measure of it quality wellbeing is increasingly important and to regulate under different political ideologies.Various environment socio economic, there is much to look for. Social policy accompanied welfare state is the remnant of an old policy from the post war era, today political parties in search policy that fit in others economic ideology spectrum, pay attention to social reform agenda, to achieve this requires great flexibility, compromise or consent of voters and opposition party. Social policy is an urgent agenda for New Zealand that have grown into multicultural society although still trapped in a disorder of a bi-culturally tough going effort to achieve in the last 200 years.

This essay is an attempt to explore different theoretical debates and position for and against social policy that incorporated in New Zealand political context.


Controversial policy

Exiting gap between men and women, employed and unemployed, rich and poor there is large number of left out people in working life, minor, gender and others who get pay unequal to that of other workers. The disable, mentally ill and the elderly receive minimum live able income and being support by government funded organization employees to visit in their home in community, for this reason government is to look closing this gap of equality in society.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

The Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics defines social policy as “an interdisciplinary and applied subject concerned with the analysis of societies’ responses to social need” (Pawar, 2014, p. 131) the definition confined within the idea of responding to need, it recognize the inaccessible and inequality as necessitate by default. Social policy in a wider term is an action that affects the well-being of members of a society mainly regarding distribution and access to goods and resources(Cheyne, Belgrave, & O’Brien, 2009). The initiative emphasis on the need that arises concerned the society where intervention and mechanism is put in place to response to it. This humanitarian response is mainly base on socialism that exit in most welfare states regarding how the government should help it citizen enhance the capability to achieve as oppose to capitalism scheme (Giddens, 2013)

Influences by socialism from the left wings, Labour party for example a Social democratic old party in early 1900s initiate change to the fundamental social policy in New Zealand. After 1935 labour party won the election and form the government, result in Social reform in social security, national health services and low rent housing programs(Smelt & Lin, 2008). Labour influence policy has not flourish without tension for example in 1970’s Crisis of the welfare state where theoretical debate was become critical on government legitimacy on state intervention was put to the ordeal (Cheyne, Belgrave, & O’Brien, 2009) key inherently to this was about the ability of state unable to develop the framework response to the market economic and political ideological context.

Liberal based political ideology the prominent right in New Zealand politic perceived social policies as counterproductive it interrupting the nature of market economic and political ideology. Liberal idea emphasis on equality of the individually takes priority over society and the right to make choices for themselves. Liberalism and Neo liberal opening stages of the free-market economy has influence scientific revolution that fundamentally altered New Zealand society today however a Classical Liberal opinion awkwardly associated with state intervention as “necessary evil”(Heywood, 2002, p. 45)

Political axes can no longer be over amplified from the fact that there are flavor variations within political party show pluralistic of political idea. Recently there are strong conservative patriotic support to the “new right” movement of social conservative i.e United future combine strength of voters to support state intervention(Mulgan & Aimer, 2004) both came from right and left of the political spectrum. Regardless of it controversial, from an observation social democracy in a small mono ethnic country in Europe seemed to be successful with a state welfare management but could be different in a multicultural environments (Giddens, 2013)

Theoretical debates/ position for social policy

Socialism believes based on the principles of collectivity, equal opportunity, distribution of wealth and public responsibility for those who are able to help themselves these emphasis on the applied policy involving a welfare state within the framework of a capitalist economy (Sejersted & Adams).

Originated in 19th century Germany from the influence of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (Aspalter, 2001) grew out of necessity to combat the universal suffrage, the poor and middle class play a great role in supporting social democratic process. Liberal on the other hands with a vague idea of allocation of resources to the disadvantage base on justice and inequality in realizing that the individual freedom need some form of guarantee (Cheyne, Belgrave, & O’Brien, 2009) and safeguard individual for social evil(Heywood, 2002).Liberal showed need for states to sustained and decided what matter for individual(Lister). This argument has been cultivated by Socialist resulting in assimilations and made an alliance. Social democratic party in a post war New Zealand it has morphed into hybrid, the mix between Socialism and Liberal ideology. Socialism has been favor in democratic process and it has made it way to the capitalism dominated political arena (Cheyne, Belgrave, & O’Brien, 2009) pressing it influences in to capitalism market economic.

Policy model largely based on the principle of eligibility, government granting access to benefits and services based on citizenship, socialist regime in practice include the welfare system(Giddens, 2013) in order to achieve equality a legitimate, ideally the elected government will engages in retribution of resources depending on the given policy and process. State management involved transferring of funds to the services providers. Labour party manifesto, for example in 1960’s emphasis on taxation must be use to achieve major wealth and income for disadvantages routing distributions to education, social security and healthcare(Lavalette & Pratt, 2007). Labour adopted social liberal promotes woman right, honoring treaty of Waitangi, opposing nuclear weapons and a sport apartheid in South Africa (Mulgan & Aimer, 2004).

New Zealand has been a bi-cultural country follows the treaty of Waitangi.(SooHoo & Nevin) treaty regulates the co-exit between westerners, newcomers and the Maori indigenous population this has causes more grieve than pleased chiefly to the indigenous populations. Subjected to a colonization process that strip Maori of their land for resources, the country then route immaturely into a global market capitalism (Cheyne, Belgrave, & O’Brien, 2009) resulting from lost of land, cultural and identity, Maori community relied on political party’s policy draw heavily on the socialism collective practice regarding to the right of indigenous people as a citizen and as people of the land, issues highlight the problems of social exclusion (Humpage, 2006). There is yet to find solutions around the issues of Tino rangatiratanga, the right, ownership accountability, management of tribal resources recognition of duty and ability to participate the concern of tribal issues this become part of the Labour policy in 1957 and recently Maori custody right to the foreshore and seabed the space for mussel farming.(Orange, 2011)


Debate argument against social policy

Post cold war society Liberal have gain it popularity it satisfy the Demand for individual autonomy and accommodates the rise of global market (Giddens, 2013) Liberal admire democratic process gaining power through freedom to vote.

Fredrick Hayek writing of Neo-Liberal ideas from the classic political economic believes in the power of unregulated market liberalism will deliver efficiency and prosperity (Heywood, 2002) Liberal ideas allow people to developing different ways of thinking takes action for changes to happen, practices contributes to the progression, ideology hold the individual responsibility to create their own destiny for a person fortune this oblige people to become self reliance (Pawar, 2014) for this reason Liberalism and capitalism are fit together favor free market and limited government control , they despise the welfare state as the source of all evil (Giddens, 2013) government redistribution of income or capital as an unacceptable intrusion upon individual freedom(Lavalette & Pratt, 2007)

The Liberal model remained market dominance and private provision, the state only recognized poverty and provide minimum support to the basic needs but still limited to it terms of agenda hence the poor need to keep up the speed or be the economic victim of the rich.

There are numbers of New Zealand political party that base one Liberal ideology for example….


National maintain it conservative regarless of liberal favor among young people.(Mulgan & Aimer, 2004)

Argument; welfare state lost it quality representing the collective interest.(Sejersted & Adams)

nz example explain references 3

National party always oppose to socialism (Cheyne, Belgrave, & O’Brien, 2009) National the second oldest political party emerges from an old Liberal and Reform party to counter the balance(Miller, 2005) Labour and National currently exist as the two main rival parties.

National party favored the the idea of liberal and conservatives. Having been form against Labour national have strong policy again collectivism unionist and welfare(Miller, 2005)….

In early 1990’s National actively promote the one country one law, new minister elected uphore the inherent Labour policy seeing favor Maori is socially devisive(Hill).

Nature of well being in society

The discourse of wellbeing is underpinned by an individual satisfaction and, as such, is inherently quality of life.

in concept to be well is to be not “unwell” for this reason“well” comes to be defined by the absence of crisis episodes. In this sense identifying the sufferers, and natural human reactions can lead to a better picture of it.

Enable people to experience freedom and realize their potential

Material well being

psychological well being

development and long term…productivity in life cycle as social investment…. conclusion – number of key events including the elections of….help turn the tide

– national showed level of ideology flexibility and pracmatic….. = National and Labour represent an opposing view for the same agenda to the ultimate goal of policy for the well being of all.

social policy reported one sided account mark the growing self confident; well being can not be express in monetary unit…

, the promotion of health and treatment of the sick, the care and support of those unable to live a fully independent life; and the education and training of individuals to a level that enables them fully to participate in their society.


Social policy out there……different theoretical

social policy according to 2 rival ideas in the western world

B.social democratic

state duty to guarantee to establish well being.




Aspalter, C. (2001). Importance of Christian and Social Democratic Movements in Welfare Politics: With Special Reference to Germany, Austria, and Sweden: Nova Science Publishers.

Cheyne, C., Belgrave, M., & O’Brien, M. (2009). Social Policy in Aotearoa New Zealand: Oxford University Press.

Giddens, A. (2013). The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy: Wiley.

Heywood, A. (2002). Political Ideologies: politics (2 ed.). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave

Hill, R. Maori and the State: Crown–Maori Relations in New Zealand/Aotearoa, 1950 2000: Victoria University Press.

Humpage, L. (2006). An ‘Inclusive’ Society: A ‘leap forward’ for Maori in New Zealand: Auckland University Press.

Lavalette, M., & Pratt, A. (2007). Social Policy: Theories, Concepts and Issues: SAGE Publications.

Lister, R. Understanding theories and concepts in social policy: Policy Press.

Miller, R. (2005). Party Politics in New Zealand: Oxford University Press.

Mulgan, R. G., & Aimer, P. (2004). Politics in New Zealand: Auckland University Press.

Orange, C. (2011). The Treaty of Waitangi: Bridget Williams Books.

Pawar, M. (2014). Social and Community Development Practice: SAGE Publications.

Sejersted, F., & Adams, M. B. The Age of Social Democracy: Norway and Sweden in the Twentieth Century: Princeton University Press.

Smelt, R., & Lin, Y. J. (2008). New Zealand: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.

SooHoo, S., & Nevin, A. Culturally Responsive Methodologies: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Give Yourself The Academic Edge Today

  • On-time delivery or your money back
  • A fully qualified writer in your subject
  • In-depth proofreading by our Quality Control Team
  • 100% confidentiality, the work is never re-sold or published
  • Standard 7-day amendment period
  • A paper written to the standard ordered
  • A detailed plagiarism report
  • A comprehensive quality report
Discover more about our
Essay Writing Service

Essay Writing


Approximate costs for Undergraduate 2:2

1000 words

7 day delivery

Order An Essay Today

Delivered on-time or your money back

Reviews.io logo

1847 reviews

Get Academic Help Today!

Encrypted with a 256-bit secure payment provider