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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Welfare state - overseas

Economic development and social policies in Mexico

J.C. Moreno-Brid, J.E. Pardinas Carpizo and J. Ros Bosch

Economy and Society, vol. 38, 2009, p. 154-176

Since the international debt crisis of 1982, Mexico has been involved in a radical reorientation of its development strategy. It has abandoned its traditional development policies of state-led industrialisation and trade protection and has also moved away from the goal of establishing universal welfare provision. Instead it has adopted a neoliberal agenda of trade and financial liberalisation, a reduced role for the state in the economy, and social policies based on means-tested, targeted programmes. This article examines the effects of these reforms on Mexico's social and economic development. After more than 20 years of neoliberal policies, economic growth has remained sluggish and this has become a major obstacle to social development.

Integrating welfare and production typologies: how refinements of the varieties of capitalism approach call for a combination of welfare typologies

M. Schroder

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 38, 2009, p. 19-43

It is argued that typologies on modes of production and welfare arrangements can be combined, as families of nations that the two approaches discern are nested in each other. The systematic occurrence of certain welfare arrangements with certain production regimes forces us to take into account how welfare and production regimes systematically reinforce each other's mode of functioning in the form of complementarities.

Labour markets and the (hyphenated) welfare regime in Latin America

A. Barrientos

Economy and Society, vol. 38, 2009, p. 87-108

In the 15 years since the 'lost decade' of the 1980s social policy has undergone large-scale change in Latin America. In many countries, occupationally stratified social insurance schemes, once a defining characteristic of welfare provision, have been replaced, wholly or partially, by individual retirement saving plans. Employment protection has been undermined by labour market liberalisation. New targeted anti-poverty programmes have emerged such as Bolsa Escola/Familia in Brazil and Chile Solidario.

Religion and social welfare in the Lebanon: treating the causes or symptoms of poverty?

R. Jawad

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 38, 2009, p. 141-156

This research highlights the role that Christian and Muslim faith-based organisations play in poverty reduction in Lebanon, illustrating how moral concerns dominate faith-based welfare. It examines the extent to which religious organisations are reaching the poor and treating the root causes of poverty. Broadly speaking, faith-based organisations remain focused on palliative services and fewer service users benefit from programmes providing solutions to their root problems.

Remembering and rethinking the social divisions of welfare: 50 years on

K. Mann

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 38, 2009, p. 1-18

This article revisits Richard Titmuss's account of the social divisions of welfare fifty years after it was originally published in 1958. Titmuss identified three systems of welfare within the welfare state: social/public (state benefits and universal access to services such as education and healthcare), fiscal (tax breaks to encourage pension savings, etc and tax credits), and occupational (pensions and other perks such as childcare vouchers or company cars). The essay needs to be read as a response to right wing critics who saw the saw post-war welfare reforms as expensive, unnecessary and potentially debilitating for all classes. Instead, Titmuss argues that welfare benefits go to all social classes and all are welfare-dependent to some degree. In this paper Titmuss's arguments are illustrated with examples from the UK, the USA and Australia.

Significance of variations between income transfers and social care services development

D.-H. Jang

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol. 25, 2009, p. 37-48

This paper examines cross-national variations in two major welfare state programmes: income transfers and social care services. Using qualitative comparative analysis, this paper scrutinises between-programme variations across 11 OECD countries in terms of spending levels with a view to determining their causes. Findings suggest that the greater the demographic ageing, the higher the income transfer spending level; and the greater the local autonomy, the higher the social care spending level.

Social citizenship rights and the welfare circle dilemma: attitudinal findings of two Chinese societies

C.-K. Wong, K. Y.-T. Wang and P.-Y. Kaun

Asian Social Work and Policy Review, vol.3, 2009, p. 51-62

The squaring of the welfare circle refers to the need for governments to control public spending in the face of rising demands for social assistance from their people, while simultaneously maintaining popular support. This comparative study looks at the findings of surveys carried out in Hong Kong and Taiwan which investigated participants attitudes to their social rights and responsibilities. Results showed that people in both societies assumed more responsibilities in relation to family care, which put a brake on demand for social welfare services from government.

What welfare states do: a disaggregated expenditure approach

F.G. Castles

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 38, 2009, p. 45-62

This article uses disaggregated programme expenditure data to identify the diverse spending priorities of different types of welfare state. An initial descriptive analysis shows that four categories of social spending (cash spending on older people and those of working age; service spending on health and for other purposes) are almost entirely unrelated to each other and that different welfare state regimes or families of nations exhibit quite different patterns of spending. The article goes on to demonstrate that both the determinants and the outcomes of these different categories of spending also differ quite radically.

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