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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2004): Welfare State - Overseas

BALANCING WORK AND WELFARE: ACTIVATION AND FLEXICURITY POLICIES IN THE NETHERLANDS, 1980-2000

W. van Oorschot

International Journal of Social Welfare, Vol. 13, 2004, p.15-27

The article critically reviews active labour market policies and social protection of workers in part time and flexible employment in the Netherlands. It concludes that important groups targeted by activation policies have not profited from them. Part-time workers have sufficient social protection but social security for workers in flexible employment needs major improvements, despite favourable adjustments in labour law.

CHANGING FAMILY POLICY IN SWEDEN AND FINLAND DURING THE 1990S

H. Hiilamo

Social Policy and Administration, Vol. 38. 2004, p.21-40

Article analyses changes in family support programmes in Sweden and Finland in the 1990s. Compared with the 1970s and 1980s, the 1990s were a period of retrenchment. However, there was no profound structural change, and early fears of the demise of the Nordic welfare state proved unfounded.

COMBINING LONE MOTHERHOOD AND PAID WORK: THE RATIONALITY MISTAKE AND NORWEGIAN SOCIAL POLICY

S. Duncan and M. Strell

Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 14, 2004, p.41-54

Until 1998, Norwegian single mothers were eligible to claim benefits until their children were ten. However, a policy change has severely restricted the benefits they can claim. The article explores how single mothers combine motherhood with employment, challenging the assumption that women are "rational actors" who make individual utility calculations about the costs and benefits of taking up paid work. Twenty-seven lone mothers were interviewed about balancing motherhood and employment, with an overwhelming majority stating that balancing employment and motherhood was beneficial both to their children and themselves. However, analysis shows that these decisions were reached through moral and relational rationality, suggesting that both the pre and post-1998 policy would act more as constraint than an enabler on their behaviour.

DECOMMODIFICATION AND BEYOND: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF WORK-INJURY PROGRAMMES

J. Gal

Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 14, 2004, p.55-69

The article examines work-injury programmes in different welfare states with the goal of better understanding these programmes and of developing concepts for comparison between welfare states. Ten different welfare states, representing different types of welfare state regime, are evaluated and their policies regarding decommodification and self-development compared.

GOVERNING CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND EDUCATION: RESTRUCTURING THE WELFARE STATE

M.N. Bloch, and others

London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

This collection combines fields that are often kept apart: child studies, education and social policy. The authors show how policy makers in all these domains use children as a wedge issue in efforts to reform families and restructure welfare states. Central to all contributions are relations of governing and government, of care and welfare and freedom and control.

NEGLECTING EUROPE: EXPLAINING THE PREDOMINANCE OF AMERICAN IDEAS IN NEW LABOUR'S WELFARE POLICIES SINCE 1997

A. Daguerre and P. Taylor-Gooby

Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 14, 2004, p.25-39

The article examines why recent British welfare policies have been predominantly influenced by American rather than European models. It begins by studying the policy transfer literature before reviewing welfare policies in France, Sweden and America. The British policy making process is then explored. The article concludes by explaining why some countries have a greater influence on policy than others do, with cultural variables, personal contacts and previous policy outcomes affecting decision-making.

NEW AVENUES TO BE OPENED FOR SOCIAL PROTECTION IN THE ARAB WORLD: THE CASE OF EGYPT

M. Loewe

International Journal of Social Welfare, Vol. 13, 2004, p.3-14

The main problem with social protection in Egypt is not lack of funding, but the inefficient allocation of resources within the system, and the unequal distribution of benefits, with the better-of cashing in at the expense of the poor. A large part of the population is either only partially covered or not covered at all by existing schemes. These must be reformed to make them more efficient and egalitarian and to extend their coverage. Micro-insurance schemes, developed by the state, NGOs and commercial insurance companies in partnership, should be introduced for largely unprotected informal-sector workers

OPEN MARKETS AND WELFARE VALUES

P. Taylor-Gooby

European Societies, Vol. 6, 2004, p.29-48

The article examines the impact of various economic changes - including oil crises, increasing international economic competition and introduction of monetary union - on welfare state values. It looks at the pressures facing European welfare states and the policy changes resulting from this. Welfare values and the impact of social change are also considered.

TROLLEY DASH: THE LAST RESORT OF HUNGRY ISRAELIS

C. McGreal

Guardian, Feb.19th 2004, p.15

Cuts in welfare benefits are driving a growing number of Israelis into poverty. Payments to single mothers, pensioners, and the unemployed have been cut by a third in recent months.

WELFARE REGIMES AND THE WELFARE MIX

M. Powell and A. Barrientos

European Journal of Political Research, vol. 43, 2004, p.83-105

Authors have categorised welfare regimes of OECD countries using a different dimension, key variable, methods and time scale as compared to the original classification by Epsing-Andersen. Argue that the identification of welfare states must focus on the welfare mix, the articulation of markets, and state and family welfare production. Have also included active labour market policies in the appraisal of welfare regimes. Finally have used hierarchical and k-means clustering techniques to identify welfare regimes in the OECD. Have produced a clear typology of welfare regimes as social democratic, conservative and liberal in line with Epsing-Andersen's original "three worlds".

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