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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2005): Welfare State - Overseas

CASH VERSUS SERVICES: "WORLDS OF WELFARE" AND THE DECOMMODIFICATION OF CASH BENEFITS AND HEALTH CARE SERVICES

C .Bambra

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 34, 2005, p.195 - 213

Analysing and moving on from Esping-Andersen's work on welfare state decommodification, and the tendency to generalise and create typologies based on provision of cash benefits alone, this paper explores the cash and services mix, and argues for more generalisable typologies of welfare state that more accurately represent the role of services.

DILEMMAS OF CARE IN THE NORDIC WELFARE STATES: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE

H.M. Dahl and T.R.Eriksen

Aldershot, Ashgate, 2005

The Nordic welfare model has become an ideal in feminist literature and in welfare state studies. This has heightened scientific and political interest in the model, including the provision and production of care as a public responsibility. This volume provides a comprehensive overview of the complex state of paid work in social care within the Nordic welfare states and dilemmas facing state-provided care in the region. The book reveals insights into the conditions, practices and trends in the area of paid care in the social and health care sectors, insights that expose the dilemmas and tensions associated with paid care and care education.

ELECTORAL POLITICS, IDEOLOGY AND AMERICAN SOCIAL POLICY

G. Peele

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.150-165

Article argues that the Bush administration's compassionate conservatism is likely to reduce the role of government in social welfare provision by emphasizing market forces and philanthropy as well as cutting taxes. It notes, however, that the Bush administration has also taken a strong stance on traditional moral standards and that opposition to abortion and homosexuality is an important part of its electoral strategy.

HEALTHY DEMOCRACIES: WELFARE POLITICS IN TAIWAN AND SOUTH KOREA

J. Wong

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005

The last decade has seen renewed interest in the politics of social policy outside the advanced industrial states. Much of the work on East Asia has focused on the limited nature of welfare commitments in the region. This volume's study of how decent health-care systems developed in Taiwan and South Korea shows these images need to be revised. A new democratic politics is in fact leading to fundamental revisions of the social contract.

I'M O.K., YOU'RE (NOT) O.K.: THE PRIVATE WELFARE STATE IN THE UNITED STATES

B.G. Peters

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.166-180

In the USA most citizens are covered by benefits provided by their employer such as occupational pensions and health insurance. While the very poor are covered by a range of social assistance programmes run by state or federal governments and by Medicaid, people in low-wage jobs whose employers do not provide social welfare benefits are dangerously exposed. Moreover, private pension schemes are increasingly going bankrupt and firms are reducing benefits they provide for employees. Simultaneously, the Bush administration is attempting to enhance the role of the private sector by allowing individuals to invest at least part of their social insurance contributions in private savings plans.

THE LIMITS TO SELECTIVITY AS A RECIPE FOR WELFARE REFORM: THE CASE OF GREECE

M.Matsaganis

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 34, 2005, p.235 - 253

The limited impact of a new "selectivity" paradigm adopted in 1996 was inevitable according to this paper which looks at social protection and its administration in Greece, and argues that this approach drew energies away from much needed pensions reform, and failing to understand the institutional context, was inappropriate for a "Bismarckian, south European welfare state".

THE MULTICULTURAL WELFARE STATE: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND NORTH AMERICAN NARRATIVES

K.G. Banting

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.98-115

There are concerns that growing levels of ethnic diversity in Western nations are weakening support for the redistributive welfare state. Multiculturalism policies adopted in some countries in response to growing ethnic diversity may further divide potential supporters of the welfare state. However, a review of the research evidence shows that Western democracies with large foreign-born populations have had no more difficulty in sustaining their welfare states than other countries. The extent of social change does matter: countries in which immigrant populations grew rapidly experienced lower rates of growth in social spending. Finally research shows that the adoption of robust multiculturalism does not erode support for the welfare state.

THE RENEGOTIATION OF THE SOCIAL PACT IN HONG KONG: ECONOMIC GLOBALISATION, SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHANGE, AND LOCAL POLITICS

E.W.Y. Lee

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 34, 2005, p.293-310

The policy of retrenching the welfare state was adopted for Hong Kong following the Asian financial crisis. This paper considers the development of social policy in the context of changing global and local political and economic environments. It questions the effectiveness of the social authoritarian approach adopted by the state in attempting to renegotiate the social contract with its citizens. It looks at:

  • the politics of social policy reform in Hong Kong as an Asian late industrialiser;
  • free market ideology and Hong Kong's old social pact;
  • globalisation and strain on the welfare state.

WELFARE STATES AND THE FUTURE

B.Vivekanandan and N. Kurian (editors)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

The welfare state has greatly expanded to encompass a large number of developing countries. Social policy in nascent welfare states has remained little explored and even less understood. This volume makes a contribution to the literature on comparative social policy, with a number of country case-studies on welfare states in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Latin America. The contributions reveal that there is no single model that can be presented as a universal one, with variations being the norm rather than the exception. These national variants are emerging within distinct socio-historical contexts and with developmental priorities that distinguish social policies in the South from their affluent counterparts in the North. The book also debates ongoing reforms in several countries and assesses the future of the welfare state in the globalizing era. It also makes a powerful case for the continued relevance of the welfare state, especially its redistributive functions.

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