Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change



Series: Social Issues, Justice and Status
BISAC: SOC026000

Two eminent Deans Emeritus in two different continents unravel contemporary social and public policy issues that are seldom discussed in traditional textbooks.

In a new Dickensian era, uplifting people’s lives amidst faltering social institutions and massive cultural meltdowns, policy discourse is a crucial obligation; it’s a discipline that entails pragmatic vision and prescient planning. Social Policy on the Cusp is a modest attempt to unravel the nexus of nihilism that thwarts even civilization-nations’ efforts to promote inclusive diversity.

Brij Mohan and Guy Backman have analyzed certain aspects and issues in American, European and Asian contexts that unravel intersectionality of problems, people, and policies. Brij Mohan, a policy gadfly, examines the human condition using Nietzschean, Foucautean and Gandhian thoughts that expose the hidden malaise of unhappiness, angst and anger in a globalized world. Social policy as a euphemism, he contends, sustains chaos and resentment without transforming oppressive systems. His five chapters offer penetrating insights into the problems that a therapeutic culture breeds. With an uncanny sagacity, he examines coloniality and post-colonialism as a womb that spells paroxysms of despair.

Guy Bäckman has contributed five chapters, which are based on his research and findings on poverty and inequalities that plague the world today. The vision of a better, cohesive world has guided the design of the empirically oriented chapters in Part Two. Social policy, through the use of advanced technology and algorithmic solutions, promotes transformative policy actions based on preferred values and goals rooted in cultural conditions. In a new political economy, it could become the instructions we write to ourselves to navigate a society that is smarter, safer, and more just. Two invited contributions by Stan Weeber, USA and Eleni Makri, Greece, further narrate the tales of “smart city” and “workplace discrimination” in light of the failed public policies in a new brave world.
(Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Part One

Chapter 1. Hope and Happiness: A Policy Paradox

Chapter 2. Science, Morality and Public Policy

Chapter 3. The Mythology of a Whitopean Welfare State: la Grand Replacement

Chapter 4. Nihilism: Policy, Principles, and Politics

Chapter 5. Policy on the Cusp of History: Oppression, Modernity, and Colonialism

Part Two

Chapter 6. Post-Industrial Changes and Social Policy

Chapter 7. The Inertia of Changes

Chapter 8. The European Welfare Regimes: The Pursuit of Equality and Sustainability.

Chapter 9. The Nordic Welfare Model and its Social Policy

Chapter 10. Digital Economy and Social Policy: Progress and Risks

Part Three

Chapter 11. Smart Cities, Resilience, and the 5G Revolution: Implications for Social Policy

Chapter 12. Workplace Religious Diversity: A New Global Media Technology Workforce





“People engage with each other through the rules of their respective societies and around shared understandings. The essential bargain is that people are willing to give up some freedoms and adhere to taxation because they receive some public goods and protections from legal systems. Social tensions arise when the rewards of sociality accrue systematically in imbalanced ways to some and not others, when there are built-in social inequalities, prejudices, and short-shrifting. In an age of change into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), what are some ways to re-jigger social agreements to better meet the needs of all citizens, in an Enlightenment approach? How can universal human dignity be achieved, with social and economic justice for all? These are the issues that Brij Mohan and Guy Bäckman (with contributions by Stan Weeber and Eleni Makri) engage in Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change, a collection which is simultaneously naively idealistic and practical, informed by 20th century history and a mish-mash of ideologies, and ultimately informed by the practice of general social critique…Social Policy on the Cusp: Values, Institutions and Change evokes the idea that all people have an ideology, a sense of the universe and their place in it, based on their unique experiences and personalities. This work suggests the state of the world is not a given; it is non-static and can be changed. The contributors highlight the importance of vision and motivation to make lasting constructive societal changes. In the same way that ideas have consequences, in-world realities can also affect ideas—for those who are attentive…READ MORE-Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2020), Instructional Designer, Kansas State University

“Implicit among the arguments, the book continues Karl Polanyi’s analysis and argues that the current economic market and its related policies have created enormous social and economic inequality because of the state’s neglect of her role in the protection of society. The book also depicts a picture which resonates Walter Benjamin’s concern for the future of humankind as personified by the portrait of Angelus Novus (Paul Klee) that the past and present of the world are bitter and the future looks bleak. However, in a different note, the book is optimistic that if stakeholders could come together to “share a common vision about the world’s cohesiveness despite grave inequalities around the globe” (p. xvii), and to act collectively, to reformulate policies that could “annihilate social and economic injustice to achieve universal human dignity” (p. xiv). In sum, the book conveys a strong message that by picking up the broken pieces of society, and through collective effort in reconstructing a new global moral order, that a social policy for people can then be realised…READ MORE” – William W.L. Wong, PhD, Former Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University. Prepared for Social Development Issues (ICSD), 43, 2021.1

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