Book Reviews : Theorising Welfare: Enlightenment and Modern Society Martin O'Brien and Sue Penna Sage Publications, London, 1998, 256pp, £14.99 pbk, £45.00 hbk, ISBN 0-8039-8907-5 pbk, ISBN 0-8039-8906-7 hbk
AbstractBook ReviewsTheorising Welfare: Enlightenment and Modern Society Martin O'Brien and Sue Penna Sage Publications, London, 1998, 256pp, £14.99 pbk, £45.00 hbk, ISBN 0-8039-8907-5 pbk, ISBN 0-8039-8906-7 hbk SAGE Publications, Inc.1998DOI: 10.1177/026101839801805706 Toyin Okitikpi Lecturer in Social Work and Course Leader, Brunel University This in many respects is a timely book. This, a time when one of the pillars of the welfare state, the NHS, celebrates its fiftieth birthday and is still used as the litmus test as to whether a welfare state can still be thought to exist in Britain, and there is growing uncertainty of what the current Labour administration mean by the third way, especially in the areas of social policy and social welfare. In this book, O'Brien and Penna look beyond narrow party politics and invite us to revisit the philosophical underpinning of the idea of welfare. They also remind us of the importance of the contextualization of the development of welfare and its administration. The questions that are implicit throughout the book are, how do we make sense of theory and how does theory relate to social welfare? what are the different theoretical perspectives that inform our understanding of social policy and social welfare?