Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2001): Welfare State - Overseas

ASIAN CRISIS, SOCIAL WELFARE, AND POLICY RESPONSES: HONG KONG AND KOREA COMPARED

K.L. Tang

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.20, no.5/6, 2000, p.49-71

Hong Kong responded to the economic crisis of 1997 by reducing social welfare provision and giving priority to restoring its competitiveness. In contrast, Korea restructured its social security and strengthened its safety net system when its economy almost collapsed.

BUSH SETS UP FAITH-BASED WELFARE PLAN

B. Macintyre

Times, Dec 22nd 2000, p.13

President-elect George W Bush has announced that he will set up an "office of faith-based programmes" in the White House to involve religious groups in government efforts to help the disadvantaged. This is part of a broad plan to finance churches and private charities to take over welfare functions from the government, while using tax concessions to encourage charitable donations.

FRAMING WELFARE REFORM IN AFFLUENT SOCIETIES: RENDERING RESTRUCTURING MORE PALATABLE

F. Ross

Journal of Public Policy, vol.20, 2000, p.169-193

Paper investigates the conditions under which political framing can render welfare restructuring more palatable. Reformers can appeal to existing cultural values such individual responsibility or rely on stereotyping certain groups of people associated with the issue, such as lone mothers. They can be helped or hindered by the existing political institutions of their country, such as the two party system in English speaking countries. Finally, to change the reach of welfare provision, leaders may shift services to a new policy arena, such as the private sector or devolved governments.

RENAISSANCE

D. Stoesz

Families in Society, vol.81, 2000, p.621-628

The current restructuring of social welfare services in the US has been influenced by the proliferation of for-profit firms operating in social markets, the fragmentation of the human services professions and the ideological collapse of liberalism. A renaissance in social welfare could commence by seizing the opportunities implicit within devolution and privatisation. These include lobbying for social welfare at local level, and co-operating with a new generation of social entrepreneurs.

SOCIAL POLICY AND SOCIAL WORK IN NEW ZEALAND

G. Duncan and J. Worrall

European Journal of Social Work, vol.3, 2000, p.283-295

Article gives a summary of the changes in the New Zealand welfare state brought about by neo-liberal policies since 1984. Areas of interest include:

  • the growing recognition of the bi-cultural foundation of New Zealand Society;
  • changes in labour, housing and social security policies;
  • New Zealand's unique approach to the welfare of children.
The implications of New Zealand's strong emphasis on contracting out of social services are considered, alongside a broader assessment of the benefits of the "reforms" for New Zealanders collectively.

SOCIAL REGULATION AND THE SOCIAL DIMENSION IN EUROPE: THE EXAMPLE OF INSURANCE

D. Mabbett

European Journal of Social Security, vol.2, 2000, p.241-257

Finds that the exemption of social insurance from EU directives creating a single market in insurance protects member states' ability to conduct budgetary social policy, but that the single market curtails their social-regulatory powers, and that the "social dimension" partly revives national capacities for social regulation.

SOCIAL RIGHTS AS HUMAN RIGHTS IN EUROPE

M. Mikkola

European Journal of Social Security, vol.2, 2000, p.259-272

Article outlines the similarities and differences between the European Convention on Human Rights, which emphasises civil and political rights, and the European Social Charter, which is largely concerned with social rights, in particular those pertaining to employment, social protection and health care. It argues that the potential of the Charter for complementing the Convention has only recently been recognised and concludes by discussing whether or not the EU should develop its own charter.

THE STATE OF EUROPEAN UNION SOCIAL POLICY

R. Geyer

Policy Studies, vol.21, 2000, p.245-261

Through a brief review of the development of EU social policy and its role in European integration theory, article argues that, despite its expansion, it lacks vital financial and political muscle to significantly affect national welfare regimes and create a European welfare state. Moreover, its broad guidelines and flexible interpretation may even encourage national social policy diversification rather than harmonisation.

WE HAVE CHOICES: GLOBALISATION AND WELFARE USER MOVEMENTS

P. Beresford and C. Holden

Disability and Society, vol.15, 2000, p.973-989

Explores the impact of economic globalisation and welfare user movements on social policy.