cite Richard Freeman’s early work in seeking to renew an agenda for prevention in social and public policy…

Ian Gough’s ‘Understanding prevention policy’, written for the new economics foundation, begins by noting the relative absence of any theory of prevention in public policy. ‘In two papers Richard Freeman (1992 and 1999) undertakes ‘a self-conscious attempt to theorise a domain of activity which is often left undertheorised’ (1999: 233). He argues that prevention is a product of modernity, being bound up with the welfare state and the authority of professional and scientific expertise. Prevention policy is built on two basic foundations, both of which are contested concepts. First, scientific understandings of cause and effect and the possibility of prediction… Second, prevention policy presumes some capacity for controlled intervention by government in social life.’

Freeman, R (1992) ‘The idea of prevention: a critical review’, in Scott, S J, Williams, G H, Platt, S D and Thomas H A (eds) Private Risks and Public Dangers Aldershot: Avebury