Public policies increasingly emphasize active consumerism, entrepreneurship on the part of service providers and professionals, privatisation and an expanded role for markets. Choice and Public Policy draws on research by economists, psychologists, sociologists and public policy experts. The research demonstrates that the traditional rational choice model of economic behaviour is unsatisfactory in providing accounts of the way people choose in relation to work, saving, spending, investment and social welfare. It also shows that the public policies of active consumerism, public sector entrepreneurship and privatisation based on this approach are seriously flawed.
Peter Taylor-Gooby FBA, ACSS, FRSA, OBE is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Kent and Director of the ESRC Social Contexts and Responses to Risk Programme. He enjoys hill-walking in the more rugged areas of the UK and riding his bike in the flatter parts. His current chief concern is to combat the arguments by which the 2010 UK Coalition government justifies undermining the achievements of the welfare state and cutting the incomes of working people. He is married with three great children.
He became interested in social policy issues after working on adventure playgrounds, teaching, claiming benefits and working in a social security office in Newcastle. More recently he has developed an interest in comparing ways in which social problems and issues are addressed in various countries, leading to work in Europe, where social provision is generally more developed, and in China, where both the opportunities and the imagination of policy-makers operate on a larger scale.