This introductory chapter first sets out the purpose of the book, which is to examine the twin issues of cash and care – and the relationships between them – in the contemporary welfare state. It discusses the breakdown of the traditional distinction between cash and care, resulting from the social and economic changes that have taken place in recent decades. The chapter considers trends such as the British government's introduction of welfare-to-work initiatives and programmes, which are designed to reduce unemployment and economic inactivity; and the growing penetration of market relationships into hitherto predominantly public sector welfare. An overview of the six parts of the book is also presented.
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