After reading Chavs, I reread the work of Charles Murray on the underclass. As an undergraduate, I was fascinated by the work of Charles Murray, the controversial American political scientist and libertarian, who documented the rise of the underclass in the United States. In the early 1990s, he was invited by the Institute of Economic Affairs to study Britain’s underclass. Murray, who perceived himself as standing in a long line of classical liberals, was very definite about the causes of the rise of Britain’s underclass – the undermining of the family structure as well as social welfare programmes. You can read his study, as well as several critiques of it, by clicking here. Please be aware that some of Murray’s work (particularly The Bell Curve) needs to be read with discernment.