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

ARE TARGETS WIDE OF THE MARK?

L. Bradley

Public Finance, Jan. 21st - 27th 2000, p. 24-26

Labour's focus on performance indicators in health and education is designed to win votes, but there is a danger that hitting targets will become more important than actually solving problems.

ECONOMIC POLICY AND SOCIAL POLICY: POLICY LINKAGES IN AN ERA OF GLOBALISATION

D. M. Shin

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 9, 2000, p. 17-30

States are increasingly being forced by economic globalisation to compete against each other in order to attract foreign direct investment and to promote the competitiveness of their industries. This competition in turn influences social policy formation. The analysis of social policy inputs and outputs presented here suggests that there are common trends in most welfare states towards: a market-conforming policy on business taxation, a reduction of the share of employer's contributions in social protection revenues, more limited income security programmes, an increased allocation of resources to active labour market programmes and less state intervention in the labour market.

LOW PUBLIC EXPENDITURES ON SOCIAL WELFARE: DO EAST ASIAN COUNTRIES HAVE A SECRET?

D. Jacobs

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 9, 2000, p. 2-16

Paper analyses six factors based on aggregate data: the public/private mix of welfare systems, the age structure, the maturity of old age pension schemes, the population coverage of social security, the relative generosity of social security and the role of enterprises and families as alternative providers of welfare. Forecasts that public expenditure on welfare will rise considerably in Japan, Korea and Taiwan and notes that levels of protection in Singapore and Hong Kong are well below the standards of Western countries.

SOCIAL POLICY IN HARSH TIMES: SOCIAL SECURITY DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK, FINLAND, NORWAY AND SWEDEN DURING THE 1980s AND 1990s

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 9, 2000, p. 31-42

For the past two decades, Nordic social policy has been subject to a range of challenges, among which economic problems and critiques by neo-classical economists has been most prominent. Based on an empirical analysis of social expenditure data and three central social security programmes, article provides evidence that changes in Nordic social policy over this period have, in fact, been relatively minor.

STRIKING DEALS: CONCERTATION IN THE REFORM OF CONTINENTAL EUROPEAN WELFARE STATES

B. Ebbinghaus and A. Hassel

Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 7, 2000, p. 44-62

While some governments have unilaterally pushed for reforms against vested interests, others have sought co-operation with the social partners (trade unions and employers) in order to co-ordinate adaptation and to achieve a broad social consensus for change. Article compares approaches to welfare reform in four European countries. The Netherlands have been hailed as a success story for concertation, and Italy's recent experience of government union agreements on the reform of wage bargaining and pensions policies can be seen as an example of concerted reform. On the other hand concertation has been unsuccessful in Germany despite initiatives by two different governments, and in France unilateral welfare reform has caused great social conflicts.

THREE PILLARS OF WELFARE STATE THEORY: T. H. MARSHALL, KARL POLANYI AND ALVA MYRDAL IN DEFENCE OF THE NATIONAL WELFARE STATE

J. Holmwood

European Journal of Social Theory, vol. 3, 2000, p. 25-30

Article offers a defence of the national welfare state as the guarantor of 'complex freedom'. This defence is derived from the theoretical contributions of Marshall, Polanyi and Myrdal and offers a reconsideration of the debate immediately after the second world war over the welfare state and its relevance today.

WELFARE STATE RETRENCHMENT: THE CAST OF JAPAN

Y. Takao

Journal of Public Policy, vol. 19, 1999, p. 265-292

Article examines the implications of central government-local government financial relations for welfare state retrenchment, using Japan as a ease study.

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