Click here to skip to content

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

AGAINST POVERTY: A COMMON MEASURE

M. Legros

International Review of Administrative Sciences, vol.70, 2004, p.439-453

An Observatory was set up in France in 1999 to monitor poverty and social exclusion across the board. It comprises representatives from the main administrative bodies producing data, universities and research organisations, and associations. It produces a report every 18 months describing the main developments with respect to poverty and social exclusion, and focusing on particular aspects of the problem, such as geographical distribution of poverty, access to social rights, image of the poor, etc.

ANTI-POVERTY POLICIES IN BRAZIL: REVIEWING THE PAST TEN YEARS

C.W. Andrews

International Review of Administrative Sciences, vol.70, 2004, p.477-488

Article reviews the main anti-poverty policies implemented in Brazil during the 1990s and early 2000s. It initially examines two universal policies in the fields of education and health care, highlighting their institutional arrangements. It goes on to consider rural development, which occupies a middle ground between universal and targeted policies. Finally focuses on targeted policies based on money transfers to poor families.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? NON PROFIT AND RESIDENT PERCEPTIONS OF URBAN NEIGHBOURHOOD PROBLEMS

R.J. Kissane and J. Gingerich

Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol.33, 2004, p.311-333

Policy makers in the USA have encouraged non-profit agencies to deliver social welfare services in disadvantaged areas. There is a belief that community-based non-profit agencies are highly responsive to local needs. The article tests this assumption by comparing the results of 51 interviews with administrators of non-profit social service agencies to similar interviews with 34 residents of the same disadvantaged areas. It found that non-profit directors and residents differed in their assessments of their neighbourhoods' problems.

EUROPE'S SOCIAL MODEL WILL CRUMBLE WITHOUT REFORM

G. de la Dehesa

Financial Times, Sept. 15th 2004, p.21

The article argues that the generous European model of social welfare provision can only survive if nations' economies are made more productive and the age of retirement is raised to save on pension costs.

FROM A LIBERAL OCCUPATION TO AN OCCUPATION OF THE WELFARE STATE: NORWEGIAN PHYSIOTHERAPY 1960-2000

L. Kjølsrød and E. Thornquist

Acta Sociologica, Vol.47, 2004, p.277-289

The article describes the integration of physiotherapy into the apparatus of the Norwegian welfare state. In return for its services, the profession has gained the sponsorship and support of the state in its struggle to escape from the shadow of medicine. The case of physiotherapy illustrates how modern governments tend to regulate society not by direction and force but by sponsoring motivated groups of experts to advance the wellbeing of the population.

GLOBALIZATION AND THE WELFARE STATE: A RETROSPECTIVE

P. Genschel

Journal of European Public Policy, Vol.11, 2004, p.613-636

The article explores the relationship between globalization and the decline of the welfare state. It begins by defining the terms before examining three schools of thought on the issue. The first, globalism, states that globalization imposes a detrimental constraint on welfare policy and that forcing the welfare state to compete internationally undermines its power to domesticate competition nationally. In contrast revisionism argues that the constraint on the welfare state is beneficial as it helps governments to cope with weakness of will problems and destroy them from within. Finally scepticism maintains that globalisation does not constrain national welfare policy. All three concepts are discussed but the article concludes that it is impossible to determine which is the most accurate as it depends on a number of variables.

SOCIAL CAPITAL AND ITS RELEVANCE TO THE JAPANESE MODEL WELFARE SOCIETY

R.K.H. Chan, C.K. Cheung and I. Peng

International Journal of Social Welfare, Vol.13, 2004, p.315-324

The Japanese government has encouraged welfare provision by informal networks and community groups and has aimed to minimise state services. The article evaluates the feasibility of this approach by using three measures of social capital to assess the strength of community in Japan. Data were provided by a survey of residents of several cities in the Kobe area. Results show that respondents' structural social capital (participation in organisations and social networks) was average, their experimental social capital (help received and offered at the individual level) was rather low, and their anticipatory social capital (expectation of future help) was high. Findings suggest that the welfare society in Japan depends on a sense of trust that effectively supports community groups and networks which provide assistance to their members.

A SOCIAL STAKEHOLDER MODEL

V. Verdeyen, J. Put and B. van Buggenhout

International Journal of Social Welfare, Vol.13, 2004, p.325-331

The article considers how the mechanisms of corporate governance which have emerged in business since the 1980s can be applied to non-profit organisations. The essence of corporate governance can be found in a system of "checks and balances" in which various stakeholders complement and control each other. The article analyses the different stakeholders in the social sector, their legitimisation as stakeholders and the practicality of a social stakeholder model.

UNEQUAL WELFARE STATES: DISTRIBUTIVE CONSEQUENCES OF POPULATION AGEING IN SIX EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

A.J. Soede and others

The Hague: Social and Cultural Planning Office, 2004

Nearly all European countries are experiencing population ageing. As retired people have lower incomes than employed workers, ageing will lead to a slight rise in income inequality in Europe in the next 20 years. Larger numbers of people with low incomes will in turn lead to higher poverty rates. However, if all EU member states meet the Lisbon employment targets by 2010, the impact of population ageing will be mitigated. People who work longer build up increased rights to benefits, thereby raising their income from pensions. The alternative option of making social security and pensions more financially sustainable by lowering levels of benefits would lead to a further increase in inequality and poverty levels.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web