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Military veterans and welfare reform: bridging two policy worlds through qualitative longitudinal research

Jones, Katy and Scullion, Lisa and Dwyer, Peter and Hynes, Celia and Martin, Philip (2020) Military veterans and welfare reform: bridging two policy worlds through qualitative longitudinal research. Social Policy and Society. ISSN 1474-7464 (In Press)

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus in the UK on the support provided to those who have served in the Armed Forces, with the publication of the Armed Forces Covenant (2011), the ten year Strategy for our Veterans (2018) and the creation of the first ever Office for Veterans’ Affairs (2019). There is also an important and growing body of research – including longitudinal research – focusing on transitions from military to civilian life, much of which adopts a quantitative approach. At the same time, the UK has witnessed a period of unprecedented welfare reform. However, to date, research focused on veterans’ interactions with the social security system has been largely absent, particularly from a qualitative perspective. This article draws on the authors’ experiences of undertaking qualitative longitudinal research (QLR) to address this significant knowledge gap. We reflect on how QLR was essential in engagement with policy makers enabling the research to bridge the two parallel policy worlds of veterans’ support and welfare reform and leading to significant policy and practice impact.

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