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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Welfare State - Overseas

BEYOND UNIVERSALISM AND PARTICULARISM: RETHINKING CONTEMPORARY WELFARE THEORY

N. Ellison
Critical Social Policy, issue 58, 1999, p. 57-85

Article questions the utility of the universalist - particularist paradigm in contemporary welfare theory. It is argued that current attempts either to reject its significance or to harmonise its two constituent elements have not proved successful and we need to explore the possibilities offered by deliberative concepts of democracy. A deliberative approach to social policy would encourage all social groups to participate in framing and pursuing policy proposals through access to deliberative institutions and would make for a higher degree of social inclusion than traditional universalist welfare ideals managed to achieve.

SOCIAL WELFARE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA AND HONG KONG

R.C.M. Chau and S. W. K. Yu
Critical Social Policy, issue 58, 1999, p. 87-107

Article studies the relation between social welfare development and economic development in China and Hong Kong. It is found that social welfare in these two economics makes important contributions to economic development, and that its expansion is associated positively with economic growth.

SOUTHERN EUROPEAN WELFARE REGIMES AND THE WORSENING POSITION OF WOMEN

R. Trifiletti
Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 9, 1999, p. 49-64

Welfare provision in Mediterranean countries is focused on a small number of social risks against which the family cannot protect itself. The risk of death or the risk of losing a steady job for a worker are perceived as risks which can damage the ability of the family to provide for its members. Social risks to the individual, against which complex welfare regimes normally mobilize resources, are perceived as coverable by the family. It is argued that current rationalisations of welfare provision in Mediterranean countries impact particularly adversely on women. Some recent reforms of the Italian welfare state are analysed as an example of such dangers.

WORKFARE WITH WELFARE: RECENT REFORMS OF THE DANISH WELFARE STATE

J. Torfing
Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 9, 1999, p. 5-28

The Danish workfare strategy puts emphasis on activation rather than benefit and wage reductions, improving the skills and work experience of the unemployed rather than merely increasing their mobility and job-searching efficiency, training and education rather than work-for-the-benefit, empowerment rather than control and punishment, and more inclusive workfare programmes rather than programmes which only target the unemployed.

TRENDS, EVENTS AND DURATION OF INITIAL WELFARE SPELLS

J. Boisjoly, K. M. Harris and G. J. Duncan
Social Service Review, vol. 72, 1998, p. 466-492

Article highlights the predictive power of a simple 'risk index' of easily measured characteristics to account for different welfare spell durations. This index can be used to identify women most likely to reach the 24 - month and 60 - month limits for assistance mandated by the 1996 US welfare reform legislation. Multiple characteristics such as young age, never married and low education are the likely characteristics of women who will reach the time limits in the new welfare law.

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