COVID-19 and the UK Welfare State: where next for post-pandemic welfare provision?
  • Date 12 November 2020 - 4.00 p.m. - 12 November 2020 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Location Online event

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby, OBE (University of Kent) gives the 2020 Sidney Ball Lecture to discuss the implications of COVID-19 for welfare state provision. 

From a fragmented care system to run-down public health, from insecure essential workers to low pay and poverty, Covid-19 has brought out many of the shortcomings of the welfare state. As pandemic gives way to recession, against a backdrop of Brexit and deficit, it is not easy to be optimistic about the future of public provision.

This lecture takes a step back to focus on the way people and politicians think about welfare. During the past half-century, both discourse and policy have shifted from social cohesion and greater equality towards targeting and social division. The early days of the lockdown cut across this, in a surge of generosity, goodwill and neighbourliness. We consider how the climate of ideas that surrounds and shapes policy is likely to develop. Perhaps the shock of pandemic will leader to a kinder welfare state?

The Sidney Ball Memorial Lectures were established after the First World War in memory of Sidney Ball who was a philosophy fellow at St John's College, Oxford. Sidney Ball was both a political radical and 'an energetic university reformer' concerned that contemporary social and economic problems should be studied at Oxford.

The lecture will be hosted online via in association with the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Please register before 11th November via Eventbrite to receive the zoom link to watch the lecture. The format of the lecture is as follows:


4.00pm – 4.05pm  Welcome by Head of Department (short introduction)

4.05pm – 4.10pm  Greetings by President of St John’s Professor Maggie Snowling OBE

4.10pm – 4.15pm  Introduction of the speaker by Professor Mary Daly

4.15pm – 5.00 / 5.05pm  Lecture by Professor Taylor-Gooby

5.00pm - Questions and Answers


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