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

BEYOND THE WELFARE STATE? THE NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY OF WELFARE. 2nd ed.

C. Pierson

Cambridge : Polity Press, 1998

Deals with the relationship between the welfare state, social democracy and the structure of advanced capitalism, and reviews major trends in the international development of welfare states down to the early 1970s. Then describes the perceived crisis in the welfare state that has dominated the past 25 years and considers possible future developments.

FEDERALISM, DIRECT DEMOCRACY AND WELFARE STATE DEVELOPMENT IN SWITZERLAND

H. Obinger

Journal of Public Policy, vol. 18, 1999, p. 241-263

Paper begins by describing some features of the welfare state characterising Switzerland as a special case. Then discusses the explanatory power of several theories in explaining the peculiarities of the Swiss welfare state. Suggests that the strength of federalism and direct democracy have proved to be stumbling blocks for the expansion of the Swiss welfare state, and have dampened social expenditures.

GERMANY TO SLASH STATE SPENDING

I. Karacs

Independent, July 21st 1999, p. 15

Reports that the German government is proposing to roll back the welfare state, cut bureaucracy and slash subsidies to try to rekindle the country's economy.

MANAGERIALISM IN SOCIAL WELFARE : PROPOSALS FOR A HUMANITARIAN ALTERNATIVE : AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE

S. Rees

European Journal of Social Work, vol. 2, 1999, p. 193-202

Managerialism has involved doing more with less and treating public services as if they were no different from private for-profit corporations. This practice has incurred huge social costs in terms of cutbacks in services, scapegoating of vulnerable people, lowering of staff morale and contribution to stress-related illness. A humanitarian alternative to managerialism is proposed in which relationships are characterised by openness and humour, the workplace culture is free of fear and values are agreed in consultation with users of services. This alternative ideology promotes the treatment of people as citizens not clients or consumers.

WHAT DOES SOCIAL WELFARE PRODUCE?

R. Dolgoff

International Social Work, vol. 42, 1999, p. 295-307

Argues that it is imperative that empirical evidence is gathered to show that social welfare programmes are efficient, effective and produce benefits for society. The more social welfare can document to positive benefits in terms appreciated by policy-makers, the more likely it is to be protected and encouraged. Paper suggests five benefits of social welfare: human capital, social benefits, societal morale and cohesion, economic benefits, civility and aesthetics.

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