'From Cradle to Grave?': Policy Responses to Death

Liam Foster, Kate Woodthorpe, Alan Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)
79 Downloads (Pure)


While death features widely in various humanities and some social science disciplines, to date it has not been given the attention it deserves in social policy discourse or research. This paper sets out to begin to rectify that omission. Outlining a range of policy areas affected by death, it argues that budget and outcome-driven priorities in the UK have resulted in the evolution of disconnected and inconsistent policy responses to death. The paper begins by outlining death rates and characteristics of population ageing before focussing on social divisions in death and associated policies. It considers the death and UK social policy agenda before outlining the key characteristics involved in developing a coherent policy response and policy analysis in this field. It argues for a more comprehensive, consistent and joined up policy response to death, and corresponding academic study of death, which acknowledges and supports individuals preparing to die, when they die and those left behind.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Austerity
  • bereavement
  • death
  • demography
  • end of life
  • inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of ''From Cradle to Grave?': Policy Responses to Death'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this