Asset-based policies are becoming an increasingly important form of public and social policy globally. The idea of spreading the individual ownership of assets such as capital grants, homes and savings, has taken hold in countries such as the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Implementing an assets agenda has potentially radical implications for the way that economic and social institutions are consitituted and paves the way for a potentially radical redistribtuion of wealth.
However, this agenda has provoked criticism as well as support. Critics argue that it will mean the retrenchment of the welfare state and that asset-ownership will adversely affect notions of citizenship. Taking an international persepctive, this timely study combines a clear theoretical approach with new research into specific policies and public perceptions of them, throwing fresh light onto the debates that surround this subject.