Social Policy and Social Justice
The NDP Government in Saskatchewan during the Blakeney Years
Social Policy and Social Justice looks concretely at the successes and failures of a social democratic government in Canada (1971-1982) in achieving social justice through its approaches to social policy. Social policy is analyzed widely, including day care, workers’ control, prescription drugs, social assistance, income distribution, legal aid and policing. Additional chapters review the NDP’s re-organization of bureaucracy and allocation of expenditures. Also included are an historical synopsis of the legislation pursued in the period and an analysis of the broader political, economic and sociological contexts in Canada.
Social Policy and Social Justice is the first in-depth analysis of social policy at a provincial level. It is the product of the multidisciplinary scholarship of the authors, all of whom have extensive experience in policy-making, policy advocacy or policy research.
This book will be an invaluable resource for comparative purposes, particularly since there are now three NDP governments across Canada, and the NDP is undergoing re-evaluation in the wake of the 1993 federal election. It will be of particular interest to those in government, university, community-based or political organizations wanting to re-examine mainstream assumptions about social democracy, social policy and social justice in Canada.
``The most theoretical metaphor in this book is appropriately provided by Jim Harding who reconceives the NDP `Welfare State' as a `Therapeutic State,' dispensing many medications for the incurable disease of late-twentieth century capitalism. Blakeney himself has stated that the future of social democracy in Saskatchewan is unclear. The Harding collection amplifies this point, and should help nip any romantic interpretation of the `golden age' of the Blakeney years in the bud. ''- Allen Seager, Great Plains Research
``Like any wise pioneer (and teacher), Harding points out the territory, suggests some trails into it, and invites readers to set out on their own explorations. This strategy. ..renders it an important pioneering effort, not just for social scientists and analysts of social policy, but for the rest of us as well. ''- NeWest Review
``The result, based on research that is both sophisticated and compelling, is an analytical achievement. ... For the faithful the results were disillusioning; for activists they provided an incentive to explore what went wrong. Social Policy and Social Justice offers some of the disturbing answers. ''- David E. Smith, Canadian Book Review Annual
``Social Policy and Social Justice is the product of profound social commitment and a great deal of thought about issues of social justice. It deserves to be read. ''- Alvin Finkel, Canadian Historical Review