This chapter will introduce to you a fundamental issue within policy studies: people, and their relationship with and to policy. People are what social policies are all about, or at least they should be. In many books on social policy there is a lot of general discussion about the policies themselves: the general shape they take, what they aim to achieve (oĞen referred to in terms relating to increases in this or reductions in that) and lots of other details about their structure and content, but there is oĞen liĴle reference to fundamental issues regarding basic human need, and how this relates to social policy initiatives. We feel that an understanding of the intrinsic relationship between people’s needs and policy is essential in order to appreciate not only the relevance of policy to people’s lives but importantly for you, the importance of policy in relation to your professional practice. We also need to think about the kinds of effects (both good and bad) that policies may have upon all of us, both in terms of specific policy initiatives but also in terms of the (usually unintended) interaction between different policies and policy areas.