This chapter presents an overview of the three parts of the book and the chapters included in each part. Part One reviews developments in key areas of social policy during 2006: education, health, housing, adult social care, children's services, and social security. The chapters in Part Two are by authors who presented papers at the annual international conference of the Social Policy Association held at Birmingham University in July 2006. The chapters in this section focus on the less-often-discussed and ‘difficult to research’ challenges encountered within empirical research. The theme for the chapters in Part Three is migration and social policy. This is an issue that has provoked substantial debate, and which is high on the political agenda both nationally and internationally.
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