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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Welfare State - Overseas

A DUAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE GERMAN WELFARE STATE?

M Seeleib-Kaiser

West European Politics, vol. 25, Oct 2002, p.25-48

Argues that the German welfare state has, over the past 25 years, reduced support for the sick, the unemployed and retired people, who are now expected to rely more on means-tested benefits and private provision. At the same time it has expanded its role in providing public services and support for families.

THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL MODEL: COPING WITH THE CHALLENGES OF DIVERSITY

F W Scharpf

Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 40, 2002, p.645-670

Economic policies in the European Union have been increasingly "Europeanised", while social protection policies remain at the national level. In consequence, national welfare states are constrained by the "supremacy" of all European rules relating to economic integration, liberalisation and competition law. At the same time they must operate under the fiscal rules of monetary union while their revenue base is eroding due to tax competition. Attempts to "Europeanise" social policy have failed due to the diversity of national welfare states, which differ in their normative aspirations and institutional structures. In response "the open method of co-ordination" is now being applied to the social policy field. It leaves effective policy choices at the national level, but tries to improve these through promoting common objectives and indicators.

NEITHER WELFARE STATE NOR WELFARE SOCIETY: THE CASE OF HONG KONG

C K Wong, K K-L Chau and T K-Y Wong

Social Policy and Society, vol. 1, 2002, p.293-301

In the welfare state, entitlements to a range of goods and services are guaranteed by statutory rights. In the welfare society, benefits and services are provided by active citizens and private institutions. Article shows how both state social protection and self-help and active citizenship co-exist in the welfare system of Hong Kong.

THE PARADOX OF PURSUING ANTI-POVERTY STRATEGIES UNDER STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT REFORMS IN UGANDA

W Muhumuza

Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, vol. 27, 2002, p.271-306

Argues that economic stabilisation and adjustment reforms pursued by the Ugandan government since 1987 have led to growth in GDP but this has not translated into improved standards of living for the poor majority. The reforms have been characterised by increasing income disparities. Article argues that the impressive economic growth is attributable more to external assistance than the effectiveness of the reforms per se. It concludes that Uganda's anti-poverty strategies are unlikely to succeed because of poor policy choices and prioritisation, over-reliance on donor funds, and an unfavourable global trading system.

THE SILVER AGE OF THE WELFARE STATE: PERSPECTIVES ON RESILIENCE

P Taylor-Gooby

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 31, 2002, p.597-621

Both quantitative methods and comparative case studies have been used to analyse welfare states. Using the example of pensions policy, article shows that quantitative methods tend to produce findings that place greater emphasis on welfare state continuity and resilience. Case studies on the other hand focus more on local political processes.

SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN EUROPEAN WELFARE STATES

R J A Muffels, P Tsakloglou and D G Mayes (eds)

Cheltenham; Edward Elgar, 2002

This book focuses on the complex relationship between economic welfare, labour market performance and social inclusion/exclusion. In an attempt to promote a better understanding of the differences in policy regimes it examines the alleged trade-off between the social and economic capabilities of a society and their impact on the well-being of the citizen.

SOCIAL INCLUSION AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

T Atkinson

Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 40, 2002, p.625-643

The European social agenda has developed significantly as a result of the process initiated at the Lisbon Council of March 2000. Article examines the challenges facing member states, and the EU as a whole, in developing the next national action plans and promoting social inclusion at a European level. The second part of the article seeks to place the discussion in a wider context, stressing the integration of social and economic policy, and the impact of the EU world-wide.

STRUCTURES OF MUTUAL OBLIGATION

R E Goodwin

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 31, 2002, p.579-596

There is an increasing emphasis in welfare policy world-wide on "mutual obligation" and "fair reciprocity". Workfare schemes such as the Australian Mutual Obligation Initiative derive from thinking of this sort. Article goes on to discuss other ways of incorporating the notion of fair reciprocity in welfare regimes that may be more desirable than demanding that claimants work for their dole money.

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