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

A FRESH LOOK AT THE JAPANESE WELFARE STATE

I. Peng

Social Policy & Administration, vol. 34,2000, p. 87-114

The paper aims to review the two approaches to the Japanese welfare state ie: the regime approach and the corporate-centred system approach. It examines their strengths and limits in exploring welfare development in Japan. It also examines recent developments by focusing on a mix of social, demographic and economic factors. It concludes that current expansion in social welfare in Japan can be seen as a state investment to help families and the corporate sector prepare and reorganise themselves for the new economic order.

CHINA'S SOCIAL POLICY: REFORM AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF MARKETIZATION AND GLOBALIZATION

X. Guan

Social Policy & Administration, vol. 34,2000, p. 115-130

The article offers a wide-ranging review of social policy trends and developments in China. It looks at the pressures on the traditional social policy in the context of Market Reform and the Open Door policy, and comments on the changing roles of government, NGOs and urban employment units, in the societalization of social policy away from the state welfare model. The general direction of the reform is geared to reducing the role of government in the provision of welfare and to increasing individual responsibility for social security and well-being.

NATIONAL WELFARE STATES, EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND GLOBALIZATION: A PERSPECTIVE FOR THE NEXT CENTURY

S. Leibfried

Social Policy & Administration, vol. 34, 2000 p. 44-63

The article tries to answer some of the following questions:

  • where are we at with European integration in the context of increasing world market interdependence?;
  • how does European integration already affect national welfare states?;
  • does the Western European case offer unique chances for defending its welfare state cultures?

The author sees the twenty-first century as a special window of opportunity for re-embedding the welfare state compact at the European level.

REFORMING THE FRENCH WELFARE STATE: SOLIDARITY, SOCIAL EXCLUSION AND THE THREE CRISES OF CITIZENSHIP

D. Béland and R. Hansen

West European Politics, vol. 23, 2000, p. 47-64

Social welfare provision in France is funded by insurance and is founded on the principle of solidarity, which holds that all citizens face social risks, such as illness or unemployment, that make them dependent on one another. The emergence of high levels of unemployment has undermined this system in three ways:

  • the long-term unemployed and youth are effectively excluded from social insurance;
  • the socially excluded who do not participate fully in society or the economy, are in some sense denied full citizenship;
  • the risk of unemployment is no longer random and unpredictable, but is associated with identifiable groups such as immigrants and the poorly educated.

These difficulties are encouraging moves towards the British model of tax based rather then insurance based financing of social provision.

THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF REFORM: POVERTY IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

R. Stephens

Social Policy & Administration, vol. 34, 2000, p64-86

The paper discusses the impact of fifteen years of economic and social change on income inequality and poverty in New Zealand. It considers how a consensual poverty line was established through the use of a series of focus groups. This leads into a discussion on who was poor in 1998. Problems in measuring trends in the incidence and severity of poverty during a period when economic growth is absent and the income distribution is widening are then analysed.

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