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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2000): Welfare State - Overseas

THE BETTER PART OF VALOUR: THE POLITICS OF FRENCH WELFARE REFORM

M. I. Vail

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.9, 1999, p.311-329

French welfare reform has been shaped by a combination of institutional specificities and the feasibility of political strategies developed within these parameters. In 1993, Balladur was able to create an atmosphere of consensus and exploit divisions among doctors in order to push through for-reaching health reforms, while his ability to fashion the appearance of consultation and his decision to target the non-unionised private sector enabled him to reform a pensions system long considered untouchable. In 1995, by contrast, Juppé's attack on the unionised public sector, the simultaneity of his reforms, his violation of Chirac's and his own government's promises and his alienating political style led to trenchant resistance among both doctors and public sector workers, forcing him to rescind his reform of the 'regimes specioux' and undermining the durability and effectiveness of the reforms for which he did secure passage.

THE CHANGING GOVERNANCE OF WELFARE: RECENT TRENDS IN ITS PRIMARY FUNCTIONS, SCALE, AND MODES OF COORDINATION

B. Jessop

Social Policy and Administration, vol.33, 1999, p.348-359

Presents a contrast between two forms of welfare regime: the keynesian welfare national state and the Schumpterian workfare post-national regime. Addresses the governance of welfare regimes and the changing scales on which such governance occurs. Aruges that the national mixed economy of welfare (based on a combination of market and plan) is giving way to a new post national mixed economy in which networks and partnership have become more important.

CULTURE : THE MISSING VARIABLE IN UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL POLICY?

J. Baldock

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p.458-473

Argues that the postwar welfare states did not reflect the values and habits of the citizens who lived in them. Rather they were the products of social philosophies developed by relatively small coteries of influential thinkers. At the beginning of the 21st century new patterns of risk and post modern cultural formations are supporting eclectic policy-making which is more in tune with cultural majorities. This signals the end of the systematic welfare state.

EMPLOYMENT, INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND SOCIAL POLICY: NEW LIFE IN AN OLD CONNECTION

C. Crouch

Social Policy and Administration, vol.33, 1999, p.437-457

Paper seeks to account for the revival of both academic and substantive interest in the role of social partners, especially trade unions, in the management of national social insurance funds. The diversity of national experience is considered. Particular use is made of comparison between Italy and the Netherlands on the one hand, (cases of some success in the role of social partners in managing change in social insurance arrangements) and France and Germany on the other (cases of stalemate).

FAMILY AND SOCIAL POLICY IN PORTUGAL

S. Portugal

International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, vol.13, 1999, p.235-246

Describes the block on welfare state development imposed by the Salazar regime from 1932 to 1974. This had sought to maintain a system where social security and welfare were left mainly to family and community solidarity and private or religious charity. The overthrow of the dictatorship in 1974 coincided with an international economic crisis which checked ambitions to create a modern welfare state. The result has been a tension between the modernisation of the society, with accelerating movement of women into the labour market, rising life expectancy and an ageing population, and the ability of the traditional extended family to absorb the welfare consequences.

FOLLOWING THE ONTARIO TRAIL

R. Oakely

Public Finance, Nov. 5th-11th 1999, p.16-18

The Conservative's Common Sense Revolution is inspired by a similar package in Ontario which also promised tax cuts, a crackdown on welfare benefits, fewer MPs and civil servants, greater parental control of schools and balanced budgets. The implementation of this programme in Ontario has polarised society with increased hunger, homelessness and social exclusion.

WELFARE STATE OR ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY?

T. Fotopoulos

Democracy and Nature, vol. 5, 1999 P.433-468

Argues that the welfare state is no longer viable in the context of economic globalisation. The current discourse of 'empowering' the citizen through ending the dependency culture functions as part of the ideology of marketisation. Proposes a new concept of social welfare based on economic democracy. Economic democracy involves new economic structures of community ownership and control of economic resources. In the new structure, all basic needs (to be democratically determined) would be covered by community resources. Thus vouchers would be issued to each citizen entitling them to a given level of satisfaction for each particular type of need that has been defined as basic.

THE WELFARE STATE BETWEEN NEW STIMULI AND NEW PRESSURES: AUSTRIAN SOCIAL POLICY AND THE EU

E. Tálos

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 9, 1999, p.351-362

Article examines the social policy effects of Austria's entry into the EU in various spheres. Expectations and the immediate impact of Austria's accession are discussed in the first section while the second is devoted to the interaction between Austrian and EU social policy in terms of underlying principles, to the effects at institutional level, and to examples drawn from specific social policy areas.

WELFARE REFORM: BLOCK GRANTS EXPENDITURE CAPS AND THE PARADOX OF THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM

R.F. King

Political Science Quarterly, vol. 114, 1999, p.359-385

Examines the connection between welfare policy and budget policy in the US, analyzing block grants as a complex form of fiscal constraint. Shows why the food stamp programme was not transformed into a block grant as part of the 1996 welfare reform, and argues that the tension between entitlement protection and spending control has not yet been resolved.

SOCIOECONOMIC DEMOCRACY AND THE STATE OF WELFARE

R.E. George

Democracy and Nature, vol. 5, 1999, p.469-484

Explores the concept of socio economic democracy which is a model socio economic subsystem in which there is some form of Universal Guaranteed Personal Income as well as some form of Maximum Allowable Personal Wealth. The lower bound on personal material poverty and the upper bound on personal material wealth are set and adjusted democratically by all society.

SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE, POLICY IMPACTS AND OUTCOMES IN SOCIAL EUROPE

L. Hantrais

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 9, 1999, p.291-310

Article examines how socio-demographic change and the social problems associated with it are experienced and perceived in different national contexts, and analyses the policy responses of governments. The outcomes of policy measures formulated and implemented by national governments are reviewed in terms of their possible impact on socio-demographic trends. Argues that socio-demographic change would appear to have an influence on policy measures, but convincing and consistent evidence is difficult to find in support of claims that policy has a determining effect on socio-demographic trends. In conclusion, the potential for further development of social policy of EU and level is considered, both in response to socio-demographic challenges and as a means of managing change.

SOCIAL PROTECTION AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION: AN UNFINISHED PROCESS

M. Marino

European Journal of Social Security, vol. 1, 1999, p.283-294

Article analyses the causes of the delay in the construction of a European system of social protection and to assess the future prospects by considering the sustainability of national social security systems which were conceived and developed in very different socio-economic conditions to those prevailing to-day.

SOCIAL POLITICS AND POLICY IN AN ERA OF GLOBALIZATION: CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

N. Yeates

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p.372-393

Discussion highlights the enduring power of local forces, which are of at the level of, and external to, states, and of politics and ideology in shaping the process of globalization and ultimately its implications for welfare states and social policies.

RESOURCES FOR SOCIAL POLICY

I. Shaw

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p.360-371

Paper begins by critically examining the impact of demographic trends on finance and demand for welfare in Europe. The implications of demographic trends for the role of the family as a primary welfare resource and for the supply of professional services is then explored. The impact of diminishing environmental resources is then examined and green social policy proposals are outlined. Finally argues that the key resource is public goodwill and support for a range of social policy interventions. Trends in middle class welfare support and welfare activity pose concerns for the future of welfare provision.

NEEDS, WELFARE AND THE LIMITS OF ASSOCIATIONALISM

M. Stears

Economy and Society, vol. 28, 1999, p.570-589

Challenges the associationalist arguments for reform of the welfare system in advanced countries on two basic grounds. First criticizes the associationalist tendency to emphasize unregulated choice in welfare provision, arguing that such a settlement would ignore the distinction between needs and preferences. Secondly, argues that devolving welfare provision to voluntary associations must lead to greater inequality because associations will tend to perform differentially without central state control, and some will do better than others.

INTEGRATED CARE: THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENTAL BEHAVIOUR ON COLLABORATIVE NETWORKS

I. Mur-Veeman, A. van Raak and A. Paulus

Health Policy, vol. 49, 1999, p.149-159

Explores the role of the Dutch government in the complex interplay of forces around the development of integrated care within networks of collaborating health and social care agencies. Concludes that where local networks play a dominant role integrated care delivery, the most effective government steering would be a mix of specific measures suited to local circumstances, and more general measures, such as financial stimuli based on legislation. Counterproductive behaviour includes imposition of inappropriate financial structures and introduction of measures with contradicting effects.

IN THE NAME OF LIBERALISM: ILLIBERAL SOCIAL POLICY IN THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN

D. King

Oxford; OUP, 1999

A notable feature of both the New Labour project in Britain and New Democracy in the US is an increasing willingness to resort to compulsion in dealing with the socially excluded. Book is a scholarly attempt to explain why centre left politicians with a commitment to social justice are capable of pursuing illiberal policies. Demonstrates that today's illiberalism is nothing new and that many on the centre-left have turned to coercive social policies when they thought it necessary, while convincing themselves they were not acting against their principles of equality of treatment and respect for individual freedom.

GENDER DOWN UNDER: WELFARE STATE RESTRUCTURING IN AUSTRALIA AND AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

S. Shaver

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 33, 1999, p.586-603

The period since the mid-1980s has seen significant restructuring of gender in the Australian and New Zealand welfare states, away from the asymmetric male breadwinner model towards one treating men and women as having the some responsibilities for self-support through paid employment.

GLOBALISATION AND HOMELESS IN THE USA: BUILDING A SOCIAL MOVEMENT TO END POVERTY

C. Honkala et al

Development in Practice, vol. 9, 1999, p.526-538

Authors argue that economic globalisation is preventing a growing number of people from being able to meet their basic needs, by limiting or eliminating living-wage jobs as well as welfare programmes. However, poor people in the USA are organising to end poverty, and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union is given as a case study. Finally, the authors discuss the challenges facing social workers and how they can be more effective in the fact of a dying welfare state alongside growing exploitation and exclusion of the poor.

HISTORICAL TRENDS IN STATE SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES IN EUROPE (POST-1945)

A.H. Gauthier

Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 21, 1999, p.937-965

Article analyses trends in family allowances, maternity leave, childcare facilities and related programmes. Four main conclusions emerge. State support for families increased only moderately during the 1950s-60s golden age of the welfare states, but has decreased significantly since the 1970s. The analysis also revealed considerable inter-country variations that cut across conventional welfare state or family policy typologies. For example, the pro-family values of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg did not translate into strong state support for families, and the social democratic welfare states of the Nordic countries did not experience identical trends in cash support for families. Trends in state support for families have reduced the cost of children, but have not entirely eliminated the opportunity cost of childbearing. Finally, results provide no convincing evidence that the ageing of Europe populations has negatively impacted on state support for families.

IMPLICATIONS OF WELFARE REFORM: DO NONPROFIT SURVIVAL STRATEGIES THREATEN CIVIL SOCIETY?

J. Alexander et al

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol. 28, 1999, p.452-475

Nonprofit organisations play a pivotal role in ongoing efforts to devolve US federal government programmes and transfer public responsibilities to the local level. The capacity of these organisations to serve as a public safety net has, however, come under question. Paper reports results of a research project which investigated the impact of welfare reform on community-based organisations in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, through surveys, focus groups and a case study. Results suggest that the capacity of smaller nonprofits to adopt the business-oriented approach required to fulfil government contracts is profoundly limited. The role of nonprofits as main stays of civil society and havens of public spiritedness may also be under threat from trends towards marketisation.

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