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Conservative party record in government put under the microscope in new book by Salford academic


Conservative party record in government put under the microscope in new book by Salford academic

Monday 27 April 2015

With just ten days to go until one of the most intriguing general elections in history, a University of Salford academic is set to provide fresh analysis of the significant policies dominating this year’s election debate, such as the NHS and welfare reform.

‘The Evolution of Conservative Social Policy’, a book by Dr Ben Williams, spans the course of the 2010-2015 coalition parliament and provides an insight into the significant policy developments over the past five years.

The book, which is set to be published just after the election, will see how successful the Cameron government has been in keeping the promises it made to the electorate in 2010. The book could either justify or cast doubt over the decision made by voters in this May’s general election.

In addition to the key topics which form this year’s election policy battleground, Dr Williams’ book presents detailed analysis of notable social policy initiatives such as the ‘big society’ and free schools, which are all framed within the context of David Cameron's depiction of a 'broken society'. Rigorous concluding judgments provide insight into how much 'change' the modern Conservative Party has initiated within these policies.

Dr Ben Williams, Tutor in Politics & Political Theory, believes his book is a good example of how the academic community can hold the actions of elected politicians to account by sharing their findings to a wider audience.

He said: “This book is broadly based on my PhD research which commenced just before the last general election in 2010.

“Indeed, many of the significant contemporary policies being debated during the current general election campaign such as the NHS, schools and welfare reform are assessed and analysed within the book, and its concluding judgements seek to gauge the effectiveness of the Cameron government in meeting its various pledges and promises as set out in 2010.”

The book, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan, gives specific attention to the evolution of Conservative social policy from 1997 onwards.

Dr Williams has published similar research in different academic formats during the current parliament, including contributing an article to the Politics Review journal and a chapter to Jason Edwards’ book ‘Retrieving the Big Society’.