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

BIOGRAPHY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN EUROPE: EXPERIENCES AND LIFE JOURNEYS

P Chamberlayne and others (eds)

Bristol: Policy Press, 2002

Based on 250 life-story interviews in seven European countries this book rethinks welfare predicaments, emphasising the gender, generation, ethnic and class implications of economic and social deregulation.

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES ON WELFARE REFORM: A TALE OF TWO VICIOUS CIRCLES?

A Gray

European Societies, vol. 4, 2002, p.359-380.

Paper discusses the effects of "welfare to work" and "making work pay" policies such as tax credits on job quality in the wider labour market. It uses qualitative interview data from unemployed people in Britain, France, Germany and Belgium to show how their responses to their country's benefits system and insertion programmes structure the effects of these policies on the labour market. Argues that the threat of workfare induces unemployed people to take low-paid, insecure jobs. This risks degrading wages and job security for the unskilled in general by increasing competition for entry grade jobs. Furthermore when wage supplements such as tax credits become widespread, employers may reduce wages, forcing taxpayers to pay part of their labour costs.

EUROPE'S NEW STATE OF WELFARE: UNEMPLOYMENT, EMPLOYMENT POLICIES AND CITIZENSHIP

J G Anderson and others (eds)

Bristol: The Policy Press, 2002

This book provides in-depth, comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of employment, welfare and citizenship in a number of European countries.

FOOD BANKS AND FOOD SECURITY: WELFARE REFORM, HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIAL POLICY. LESSONS FROM CANADA?

G Riches

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 36, 2002, p.648-663.

Food banks act as centres or clearing houses for the redistribution of donated or surplus food. As state welfare support has been cut, food banks have acted as extensions to weakened social safety nets. Food banks in Canada are discussed from the point of view of their origins and purpose, effectiveness, usage and institutionalisation. Author concludes that food banks in Canada are an inadequate response to food poverty but allow government to look the other way and neglect hunger and nutritional health.

GENDER AND WELFARE STATE CHANGE

J Lewis

European Societies, vol. 4, 2002, p.331-357

There is evidence of common trends in welfare state reform by social democratic governments in Europe, most importantly in terms of active labour market policies and "making work pay". These changes are based on the promotion of a model in which all adults in a family work, but have not been accompanied by policies to redistribute the (mainly unpaid) care work traditionally undertaken by women. The final part of this article argues that a more care-centred policy analysis is necessary if gender equality is to be taken seriously.

A PROFILE OF SOCIAL WELFARE IN LEBANON: ASSESSING THE IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY 

R Jawad

Global Social Policy, vol. 2, 2002, p.319-342

Article has sought to present the views of expert observers and practitioners in Lebanon on four key issues (poverty, social welfare, development policy and social dynamics) in order to present a profile of social welfare in Lebanon and to explore the implications for social development policy. Welfare services in the Lebanon are provided not by the state but by private charities and ideological movements, including religious groups. Social welfare can thus be used to undermine state credibility and further the political ambitions of various interest groups. However it can at the same time be the basis of positive social change for various communities.

RESTRUCTURING THE WELFARE STATE: POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS AND POLICY CHANGE

B Rothstein and S Steinme (eds.)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002

The contributors to this book argue that past practices and policies significantly affect the options available to societies. It looks at welfare states' resilience and examines the factors that influence them. It examines the main issues facing the contemporary welfare state, including the role of race in welfare, how different forms of welfare provision affect public attitudes, and how differing approaches to immigrant integration are influenced by constitutional rules.

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