Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2006): Welfare State - Overseas

M. Ferrera

Oxford: OUP, 2005

The book asks two questions. Firstly, to what extent has the process of European integration re-drawn the boundaries of national welfare states? Secondly, what are the effects of such a re-drawing? To answer these questions the book analyses the relationship between domestic welfare state developments and the formation of a supranational European Community between the 1960s and 2000. The book concludes by offering suggestions on how a viable system of multi-level social protection could possibly emerge within the new EU-wide boundary configuration.

Hong Kyung Zoon and Song Ho Keun

Journal of Social Policy, vol.35, 2006, p.247-265

Analysis showed that expenditure on social welfare in Korea has grown remarkably since 1990, reaching as high as 11% of GDP in 1998. The roles of government and the private sector in social welfare provision have changed, due in a large part to the consolidation of democracy and the spread of economic globalisation. The Korean private sector has been able to use the impact of globalisation as an excuse for bowing out of social welfare provision, a responsibility which the government had delegated to it in the past. The government has had to assume this responsibility in order to meet the demands of civic groups and meet conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund. In this context, income maintenance programmes have expanded rapidly since 1998. At the same time the expansion of public social services has been slow; provision remains the responsibility of the family.

Do we know where we are going? The new social policy in Canada

K.G. Banting

Canadian Public Policy, vol.31, 2005, p.421-429

Welfare states were developed after World War II to provide economic security for the citizen through a range of income transfer programmes such as unemployment and incapacity benefits, old age pensions, and children’s allowances which offered protection from the risks of the market economy. However, in contemporary policy circles, security no longer means protection from market disruption. Such security as is available in the contemporary world is seen as flowing from the ability to adapt to a changing global economy. The aim of policymakers is to equip the citizen with the knowledge and skills that will enable him/her to survive and prosper in a knowledge-based global economy. Canadian governments have restructured the social security system so as to reduce the levels of social protection offered to working age adults. However their approach to investing in human capital is weakened by uncertain commitments to public spending on education, problems of timing and sequence and a failure to come to grips with the policy implications of the socio-economic gradient in educational attainment.

J. D. Schmidt and J. Hersh

Golbalizations, vol.3, 2006, p.69-89

Article looks at the interactions of the state, capital and labour in advanced societies in the context of the international system. It identifies differences and similarities between the two most successful variants of modern capitalism: the welfare state and the developmental state models. Finally, it examines the impact of neoliberal globalization on both systems.

F. Adloff

International Review of Sociology, vol.16, 2006, p.1-30

Until the 1970s the Catholic Church in the USA was very reluctant to criticise the government. Since the 1980s the Catholic Church and charities have entered the political arena as actors committed to a brand of social justice that advocates restraining market forces, an egalitarian distribution of material resources, and Federal responsibility for social policy. Article explores the conditions under which the Catholic Church and Catholic charities developed into social actors politically committed to social rights.

M. Wolf

Financial Times, March 1st 2006, p.17

Big government is causing the decay of satisfactory services in Europe according to Wolf who rejects the European social model as maternal and infantilising. Offering a seven point analysis of the failings of the big state, and pointing to trouble even in Sweden, the article asks whether the tax-and-spend European social model can survive.

Toppling Jefferson’s wall or tiptoeing around it? Evaluating the implementation of faith-friendly welfare policy

N.T. Kinney

Administration and Society, vol.38, 2006, p.3-30

The charitable choice provision of the US 1996 welfare reform act prohibits states from discriminating against religious groups when awarding contracts for delivery of welfare services. This article examines the performance of the controversial charitable choice policy through a process evaluation of its implementation in Missouri. This state actively tried to facilitate the adoption of faith-based approaches to service delivery under welfare reform. Findings suggest that implementation was hindered by elements in the setting (state generosity, population size, poverty levels and racial composition of the counties), constrained resources and problematic staffing arrangements. The ability of programme coordinators to devise strategies to overcome these obstacles was crucial to the policy outcomes.

The transformation of welfare states?

N. Ellison

Abingdon: Routledge, 2006

The book focuses on the social and political underpinnings of a number of welfare regimes and looks at the transformations they have undergone and the challenges they face. It assesses current debates about the role of ‘globalization’ in welfare state change, paying particular attention to contemporary views about the capacity of embedded institutional structures to limit the effects of global economic pressures. The book concludes that all contemporary welfare regimes are experiencing a level of ‘neoliberal drift’.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web