This chapter presents Richard Titmuss's researched account of social services during the Second World War. Problems of Social Policy (1950), forms one of the volumes of the official history of the war. It notes that the explanations offered for the development of state welfare have been questioned in two main ways. The first is whether the Second World War really did lay the foundations for a successful, modern welfare state. The second area of controversy prompted by Titmuss's account surrounds the existence or otherwise of a consensus on social policy at this time. It observes that society is never static and the needs which welfare provision is required to meet are transformed as the economic and political environment changes. It points out that there are some constraints: the embeddedness of welfare provision in a specific economic and social context; the often-overlooked distributional effects of fiscal policy; and tensions between targeting and universalism.
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