Drawing on a qualitative longitudinal study that examined experiences of welfare reform among a small group of recipients of out-of-work benefits, this paper considers how individuals’ social citizenship rights, responsibilities and status are all affected by processes of welfare reform. It discusses the ways in which welfare conditionality impacts upon targeted individuals’ citizenship status, noting a trend towards ‘conditioning’, where people seek to govern and manage their own behaviour(s) in order to meet the demands of contemporary citizenship. The paper considers the extent to which even a ‘modicum of economic welfare and security’ is now denied to so many Britons, concluding with a discussion of what if any emancipatory potential social citizenship still holds.
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- Social citizenship
- Welfare reform