Social policy and the government of waste

Veitch, Kenneth (2018) Social policy and the government of waste. Capital and Class, 42 (2). pp. 297-313. ISSN 0309-8168

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Download (366kB)


This article argues that key elements of contemporary social policy can be fruitfully analysed through the lens of waste. Drawing on work identifying the importance of waste and waste disposal in the history of modernity and early liberal theory, the article develops two concepts of waste – waste as inertia and waste as excess – and uses these to shed light on aspects of recent social policy in the areas of unemployment, health care, and higher education. In particular, it is argued that the theme of waste is able to capture the desire of recent governments to deploy social policy explicitly to economic ends – including economic growth and capital – and the consequences it sets in motion for citizens who fail to comply with stipulated obligations. It is also argued that the government of waste is a source of political legitimacy for the state.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0501 Capital. Capitalism
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD4801 Labour. Work. Working class > HD5701 Labour market. Labour supply. Labour demand Including unemployment, manpower policy, occupational training, employment agencies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kenneth Veitch
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2017 14:49
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2018 12:00

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update