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

COMMUNITY GOVERNMENT: VOLUNTARY AGENCIES, SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND THE RESPONSIBILIZATION OF CITIZENS

S. Ilcan and T. Basok

Citizenship Studies, vol.8, 2004, p.129-144

With the end of the Keynesian era, governments have sought to divest the responsibility for providing for their citizens' social and economic needs. They have attempted to delegate responsibility for assisting disadvantaged people to the voluntary sector. Once they have assumed responsibility, voluntary agencies then take it upon themselves to train their volunteers to become responsible citizens. These voluntary agencies have become doubly responsible:

  • they provide social services to disadvantaged individuals;
  • they simultaneously train community members to assume their moral duties.

LIQUID MODERNITY: BAUMAN ON CONTEMPORARY WELFARE SOCIETY

P. Abrahamson

Acta Sociologica, vol.47, 2004, p. 171-179

In the sociology of Zygmunt Bauman, contemporary society is viewed as liquid modernity, which underlines mobility as indicative of our time. Globalisation facilitates the movement of capital and the social elites, but for the poor mobility is not an easy option. Increasingly, the affluent isolate themselves in voluntary ghettoes such as gated communities, while the poor are relegated to enforced ghettoes and labelled as an undeserving underclass. Bauman demonstrates the development in North America as indicative of the situation elsewhere, but suggests, as an alternative to dismantling the neo-liberal welfare state, the introduction of a basic income and the replacement of the work ethic by an ethic of craftsmanship.

SECTORS, AGENTS AND RATIONALE: A STUDY OF THE SCANDINAVIAN WELFARE STATES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE WELFARE SOCIETY MODEL

K. Lin

Acta Sociologica, vol.47, 2004, p.141-157

This article is a conceptual and theoretical investigation of the welfare society model and its applicability in Scandinavia. It argues that the public sector led structure of welfare provision prevents non-public agents from realising their potential. The far-reaching institutional integration of the private and public spheres leaves little room for voluntary welfare agents to operate. The weak sense of reciprocality, combined with a strong notion of welfare rights, still renders normative support for a system of state welfare. The conditions are not conducive to the development of a welfare society in Scandinavia.

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