5. Elizabeth Kiely: the Criminalisation of Social Policy

In this episode, Niamh talks to Elizabeth (Liz) Kiely, senior lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, about her book, co-authored with Katharina Swirak, The Criminalisation of Social Policy in Neoliberal Societies, that was published by Bristol University Press in 2022. The criminalisation of social policy refers to the growing intersection between social policy and crime control, and, more broadly, to the ways in which social policy can stigmatise, exclude and penalise social groups deemed to be problematic.
Niamh and Liz talked about the relationship between the disciplines of social policy and criminology; the link between the criminalisation of social policy and neoliberalism; the penalisation of lone parenthood; the rise of the ‘squeezed middle’ discourse; the significance of interventions to address ‘adverse childhood experiences’; the role of the social professions, and, finally, the potential for alternative forms of social policy that are grounded in equality and social justice.
Here’s a link to the article on the ‘squeezed middle’ which was mentioned during the show: (Neo)Liberal Populism and Ireland’s ‘Squeezed Middle’.

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