Analysing political discourse in the British press during a time of crisis and austerity, this book examines how the concept of the welfare state has been constructed between 2008 and 2015. At a time when the financial crisis and government policies have put the welfare state under increased pressure, a corpus from four British newspapers from across the political spectrum - the Guardian, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, and Daily Telegraph - is brought together to investigate the political debate on its evaluation and the ambiguity about its exact definition. Combining two theoretical approaches, Malgorzata Paprota outlines the figurative models and scenarios relevant to this element of the political system. The discourse-historical approach to discourse analysis is used to establish what the welfare state is, tracing the boundaries of the concept and which elements of political reality are explicitly associated with it. Conceptual metaphor theory is then used to explore the figurative conceptualisations of the welfare state. Together, this book shows the discursive construction, and shifting boundaries and metaphors, of the welfare state by the British press and its use in current political debates.