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

THE EROSION OF THE WELFARE STATE : SWEDISH SOCIAL POLICY AND THE EU

A. Gould

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 9, 1999, p. 165-174

Article begins with an account of Sweden's decision to join the EU, followed by a section on the Swedish welfare state and the perceived impact on it of EU membership. The impact of Swedish participation on EU social policy is also considered. It is concluded that the EU has contributed to the erosion of the Swedish welfare state. This process is likely to continue as a result of the EU's economic imperative which continues to overshadow and dominate the social.

HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL? THE SWEDISH WELFARE STATE IN TRANSITION

G. M. Olsen

Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 36, 1999, p. 241-267

Present study focuses on two aspects of the Swedish Welfare State, unemployment and labour market policy, and old-age care and the pension system. Suggests that the Swedish welfare state has undergone extensive restructuring in response to global financial pressures. However public opinion and the trade union movement are having some effect in preventing further erosion.

ISSING WARNS GERMANY TO REFORM ITS WELFARE STATE

T. Barber and J. Blitz

Financial Times, June 1st 1999, p. 3

Reports that the European Central Bank's chief economist, Otmar Issing, has said in a newspaper interview that Germany needs to urgently reform its expensive pensions, healthcare and welfare benefits systems in order to avoid ending up as 'the sick man of Europe'.

THE REGULATION OF CONTRACTUALISATION IN QUASI-MARKETS FOR PUBLIC SERVICES

P. Vincent-Jones

Public Law, Summer 1999, p. 304-327

Concludes that quasi-market contracting can, in properly selected cases, offer significant advantages in comparison with the form of bureaucratic organisation that until recently has dominated public service provision in the United Kingdom and other capitalist societies. Under appropriate regulatory conditions, contractual governance can help provide solutions to

the problem of how democratic values of openness, participation and accountability may be put into effect in arrangements for the more efficient, effective and responsive provision of public services.

VICE INTO VIRTUE? PROGRESSIVE POLITICS AND WELFARE REFORM IN CONTINENTAL EUROPE.

J. D. Levy

Politics and Society, vol. 27, 1999, p. 239-273

Analyses the plight of the Christian Democratic welfare regime, in particular, and the relationship between progressive politics and welfare reform, more generally. The progressive approach to welfare reform targets inequities within the welfare system that are simultaneously a source of either economic inefficiency or substantial public spending, e.g. paying disability pensions to people who are neither sick nor disabled. By attenuating these inequities, progressive reformers have been able to extract resources with which to pursue a variety of worthy objectives, such as redistributing income without increasing public spending.

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