Society and Politics: New Zealand Social Policy (2e) : 9781877371646

Society and Politics: New Zealand Social Policy (2e)

Published by
Pearson New Zealand
Available on demand
Title type

Society and Politics provides an introduction to the essential political ideologies and concepts that have had an enduring impact on the development of New Zealand society. The main topics covered are: sovereignty, social contract and the Treaty of Waitangi;  liberalism; socialism; feminism; nationalism, imperialism and racism; neo-liberalism and conservatism; and the contemporary third-way model. Special consideration is given to: poverty and inequality; the rights of children; and superannuation.

The purpose of this book is to bring political theory and social policy concepts to life for the New Zealand reader, to highlight the political importance of our intellectual and historical heritage, and to link these ideas to their European and indigenous roots. New Zealand’s political culture has often prided itself on a pioneering, pragmatic and nonideological approach. This book challenges us to rethink that view, illustrating how and why political theory is relevant to us all.

This text will be of interest to undergraduate students of New Zealand history, social policy, politics and sociology. The reader will gain a deeper appreciation of the significance, origins and principles of political ideologies in New Zealand, alongside the key figures  who promoted these ideas, and their values and social goals.

‘This book is a refreshing antidote to customary works on social policy … Here we have a theoretically-informed piece of critical analysis that purposely casts its net beyond policy to consider society and politics.’
Steve Matthewman, Department of Sociology, University of Auckland

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Social policy and political ideology
Chapter 2 The sovereign and society: Is the Treaty of Waitangi a social contract?
Chapter 3 Land, liberty and property: Liberalism and the New Zealand dream
Chapter 4 The socialist alternatives: Revolution, reform and social democracy
Chapter 5 Gender and family: The influence of feminism
Chapter 6 Nation, empire and race
Chapter 7 Reinventing the right: Neo-liberalism
Chapter 8 New Zealand’s third way
Chapter 9 Special topics
9.1 Poverty and inequality
9.2 Children’s rights
9.3 Superannuation
Chapter 10 Conclusion

Author biography
Grant Duncan is a social scientist and university teacher in social policy and public policy. His research has covered a wide variety of topics, from the management of disability to the political uses of ‘happiness’.