The 'new five giants' – conceptualising the challenges facing societal progress in the 21st Century

Greener, Ian (2021) The 'new five giants' – conceptualising the challenges facing societal progress in the 21st Century. Social Policy and Administration. ISSN 0144-5596

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    Abstract

    This paper takes an overview of the barriers to social progress 80 years on from the original Beveridge report (Beveridge, 1942). It argues we can identify and conceptualise five alternative 'Giants', relating these to social theory and social debates in the 21st century, and considering the prospects for progress against these new challenges. After considering Beveridge's original Giants in their context, it considers large-scale theories of social change after 1942 and reviews what other 'Giants' writers have suggested in calls for a 'new Beveridge' and proposes inequality, preventable mortality, job quality, fragmenting democracy and environmental degradation as the most significant challenges we face, linking each to one of Beveridge's original Giants.