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

THE COMING OF EAST AND SOUTH-EAST ASIAN WELFARE STATES

S.E.O. Hort, S. Kuhnle

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 10, 2000, p.162-184

The article challenges the belief that rapid economic growth in East and South-East Asia has been achieved without the development of social welfare. The study shows that the Asian countries generally introduced social security programmes at a lower level of 'modernization' than Western European countries; that rapid and strong economic growth in the decade 1985-95 has in general been accompanied by welfare expansion; and that expansion of state welfare responsibility is more evident than efforts to reduce or dismantle state welfare responsibility.

EASTERN EUROPEAN WELFARE STATES: THE IMPACT OF THE POLITICS OF GLOBALIZATION

B. Deacon

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 10, 2000, p. 146-161

The article begins with a summary of the social policy of the old state-socialist regimes, some description of the legancy of social problems, which they bequeathed to those making the transition to capitalism and a brief summary of the major social costs of the transition process. Next the broad social policy strategies of the new governments of Eastern Europe and the former USSR are reviewed. Then developments in five specific fields are described: levels of public expenditure on social welfare; income maintenance policy; health and medical care; housing and education. Finally, the article asks whether the policy changes have been motivated by a perceived need to reduce social provision, with a view to becoming more competitive within the global economy.

RECENT CHANGES IN LATIN AMERICAN WELFARE STATES: IS THERE SOCIAL DUMPING?

S. J. Kay

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 10, 2000, p. 185-203

The article evaluates the degree to which the recent wave of pension reform in Latin America can be considered social dumping. The demonstration effect of the Chilean model, International Financial Institution support for privatization, and concerns about economic competitiveness provided incentives for governments to pursue privatization. Given the dismal financial and distributional picture of the old pay-as-you-go system and its steep transition costs, social security privatisation is not readily explained as social dumping.

RETHINKING RETRENCHMENT: NORTH AMERICAN SOCIAL POLICY DURING THE EARLY CLINTON AND CHRETIEN YEARS

S. Basherkin

Canadian Journal of Political Science vol. 33, 2000, p. 7-36

Examination of the first-term social policy records of the Clinton administration and the Chrétien government suggests that the effects of welfare state retrenchment are far from uniform. They tend to vary according to the gender, class and minority status of programme constituencies such that retrenchment carries with it a highly selective and inconsistent impact across both policy sectors and social subunits. Programmes with poor, female, minority and hence relatively weak political constituencies suffered most from both Clinton- and Chrétien-era reforms. Under the guise of rewarding work, balancing budgets and enhancing the authority of subnational governments, both leaders effected major overhauls of welfare regimes that had historically supported low-income single-parent families.

SURVIVAL OF THE EUROPEAN WELFARE STATE

Edited by S. Kuhnle

London: Routledge, 2000

The book takes issue with the many voices of inevitable 'crisis', 'breakdown' and 'end' of welfare states in Europe that have made themselves loud and clear in the international community through books, journals, magazines etc. during the last quarter of the twentieth century. The authors believe that while here are many challenges to welfare state development, the survival of a fundamental and relatively comprehensive state and public responsibility for the welfare of citizens in European nation-states is both possible and likely.

TESTING THE 'SOCIAL DUMPING' HYPOTHESIS IN SOUTHERN EUROPE : WELFARE POLICIES IN GREECE AND SPAIN DURING THE LAST 20 YEARS

A.M. Guillén, M. Matsaganis

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 10(2), 2000 p. 120-145 

The article focuses on Greece and Spain, two countries that differ in terms of economic performance and size, but share a recent history of successful transition to democracy and common membership of the Southern European 'model' of welfare. The welfare policies pursued in these two countries over the last 20 years were marked by strong expansionary trends that outbalanced occasional cut-backs. The article refutes the 'social dumping' hypothesis in relation to these two countries.

UNDERSTANDING THE WELFARE STATE: THE CASE OF HEALTH CARE

M. Moran

British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 2, 2000, p. 135-160

Article explains why health care should be central to our understanding of the welfare state, summarises the present debates about pressures on welfare states, explains how to think about health-care governance in this connection, develops a typology of "health-care states", and shows how the experience of health care reflects, and how it departs from, the wider experience of welfare states.

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