What is welfare? Why is it a key part of the 'common good' for all? And how should we go about providing it? Pete Alcock, a well-respected expert, explains the challenges that collective welfare faces, and explores the complexities involved in delivering it, including debates about who benefits from welfare and how and where it is delivered. His primary focus is on the UK, including the problems of poverty and inequality, and how recent political and economic changes have undermined public investment; but he also draws on international examples from Europe and other OECD countries, such as the impact of private health care in the USA. Why we need welfare is a call for new forms of collective action to meet welfare needs in the 21st century. It offers a fresh perspective on the key issues involved, and is a great introduction to this important and topical debate.