Having spent the opening chapters reviewing three of the key political perspectives at work in contemporary welfare theory the rest of the book is spent discussing some of the main debates of recent years into which they may be said to intervene. The main intention is to explore the debates themselves rather than fitting them rigidly into the above political boxes. However, I seek to explain as we go along why and how those perspectives make their respective interventions. We begin in this chapter by looking at questions of agency, community and class. The first two have certainly impacted upon political and academic debates in recent years, with class having declined in influence. Still, the premise of this chapter is that we cannot fully understand any one of these concepts without some reference to the others.
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