My friend and former colleague Vic George, who has died aged 87, was emeritus professor of social policy and social work at Kent University. He was a kindly, scholarly man with a talent for unobtrusive mentoring and for ensuring that his colleagues felt valued. He did much to shape the careers of others and contributed greatly to his discipline through teaching, administrative work and his many books.

In particular, Vic led the way in demonstrating that developments in social policy can only be fully understood within their historical, political, economic and ideological contexts. Among his many books was The Impact of Social Policy (1984), which documented the achievements and limitations of welfare reform in postwar Britain. He was general editor of the Routledge series Radical Social Policy, which included his book Socialism, Social Welfare and the Soviet Union (1980), co-authored with Nick Manning.

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