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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2011): Welfare state - overseas

The ethics of migrant welfare

H. Dean

Ethics and Social Welfare, vol. 5, 2011, p. 18-35

International migration poses a dilemma for capitalist welfare states. This paper considers the ethical dimensions of that dilemma. It reflects on the obstacles to the accommodation of equal social rights for migrants that will survive so long as humanity constructs and maintains notions of sovereignty based on national borders. It discusses the meaning and provenance of social rights before critically examining past attempts to classify the various approaches to this ethical challenge. It ends by presenting its own taxonomy of the different ways in which the social rights of migrants are ethically conceptualised and critiquing those conceptualisations through the lens of the ideal of migration without borders based on notions of global citizenship.

The ethics of welfare provision for migrants: a case for equal treatment and the repositioning of welfare

H. Bolderson

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 40, 2011, p. 219-235

Using examples from the UK, this paper demonstrates that migrants' welfare rights are determined by the immigration status they are given by their country of reception, and that the allotted immigration statuses themselves form a 'hierarchy of citizenship', with the most secure status giving settlement and the least secure a form of temporary presence. In this selective process, migrants' welfare rights are correspondingly differentiated, ranging from full rights to none. It is shown that this selectivity leads to inequality and poverty when applied to migrants on the basis of immigration status. It is suggested that all migrants should be entitled to welfare support that is at least equal to that available to nationals on the grounds of common humanity.

Focus on pensions and health finance as income and mortality gap widens

P. Toynbee

The Guardian, Apr. 6th 2011, p. 25

Polly Toynbee report from Poland where the welfare state was completely remade after the fall of communism and where the current big political issue is pensions. The government is diverting part of the fund from the statutory contribution citizens pay, moving it into the state insurance scheme, designed to ease pressures on public finances, and cut the budget deficit (8% of GDP in 2010) and keep the national debt within legal limits of 55% of GDP.

Gender, family, policy: new concepts, new findings

Social Politics, vol. 18, 2011, p. 1-145

The articles in this themed issue offer: 1) an analysis of claims that European welfare states are in the process of creating an adult worker model; 2) a discussion of the place of marriage promotion in United States welfare policy; 3) an analysis of the parliamentary debates that preceded and accompanied the passage of the Israeli Mono-Parental Families Act 1992; 4) a consideration of the impact of different family policy regimes in 20 OECD countries on children's well-being in the areas of child poverty, child mortality and educational attainment; and 5) a discussion of the reluctance of younger women, compared to older women, to identify with a collective feminist politics.

An institutional embeddedness of welfare opinions? The link between public opinion and social policy in the Netherlands (1970-2004)

J. Raven and others

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 40, 2011, p. 369-386

The existing literature on welfare state legitimacy cannot explain whether public opinion influences welfare state design or welfare state design influences public opinion. There is evidence of influences in both directions. This paper uses longitudinal survey data from 1970 to 2004 in the Netherlands as well as social expenditure data to test the relationship between social policy and public opinion. The results show that public opinion influences relatively new policies, policies which are not yet fully established and where policy designs are still evolving. Social policy, on the other hand, is found to influence individual opinions on established and highly institutionalised policies, but does not influence public opinion on relatively new areas of development.

Is there a progressive's dilemma in Canada? Immigration, multiculturalism and the welfare state

K.G. Banting

Canadian Journal of Political Science, vol.43, 2010, p. 797-820

Commentators worry that greater ethnic and racial diversity is fragmenting the historic coalitions that built the welfare state. The majority population may be withdrawing its support from social programmes that redistribute resources to immigrants. Voters who might otherwise have supported left wing parties are thought to be switching their allegiance to conservative parties that oppose immigration, indirectly contributing to a retrenchment of the welfare state that they might not have sought in the voting booth. This tension between diversity and solidarity has been called the progressive's dilemma. This paper looks for evidence of the progressive's dilemma in Canada, one of the most multicultural countries in the world. The analysis shows that public attitudes in Canada reveal remarkably little tension between ethnic diversity and support for social programmes. However, the prevalence of these attitudes appears to be due to certain elements of the immigrant incorporation regime. Immigration policy minimised the dependence of newcomers on social welfare while integration policy represented a state-led transition to a multicultural conception of the country, building an identity that helped protect the welfare state from anti-immigrant sentiments. Finally, universal social programmes reduced the exposure of immigrants to the politics of welfare chauvinism.

The Nordic welfare states - revisited

B. Greve (editor)

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 45, 2011, p. 111-219

The articles in this special issue demonstrate how radically the Nordic welfare state has changed over the past five to ten years, although its distinctiveness remains in some fields such as family policy. The analysis focuses on changes in different service sectors (labour market, childcare, and family policy), in types of income compensation (unemployment benefits and pensions) and in the different Nordic countries. The articles present comparative analyses and case studies of individual countries.


M. Daly

Cambridge: Polity, 2011

This book takes a fresh look at the continuing relevance of welfare in the context of public policy, recent scholarly developments and changes in popular attitudes and behaviour. Tracing the concept's background in economics, political science and social policy, the book juxtaposes welfare with newer approaches, such as subjective well-being, capabilities, care, social exclusion and social capital. The links between welfare and political ideas are also elaborated. The welfare state, as it developed historically in Europe and as it is changing in different countries, is given an important place in the analysis. Drawing on a range of empirical work, the book in its final part considers how individuals and groups attain welfare and how this shapes people's decisions and actions in their everyday lives.

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