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Welfare reform on the Web (September 2006): Welfare state - Overseas

Advocating for the forgotten human right: Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: religious freedom

D.R. Hodge

International Social Work, vol.49, 2006, p.431-443

Advocating for human rights is a principal concern of social work, but little attention has been devoted to protecting the right to religious freedom. This lack of attention is particularly troubling in the light of the growing prevalence of religious persecution worldwide, particularly of Christians.

Contracting for welfare services in Italy

L. Bifulco and T. Vitale

Journal of Social Policy, vol.35, 2006, p.495-513

From the 1990s onwards social policy in European countries showed a growing reliance on contractual devices to regulate relationships between the state and both for-profit and not-for-profit service providers. There was also an increasing reference to forms of contracting between providers and users of services. This contractual configuration of local welfare services appears to encourage civil society and recipients to play a more active part in designing and implementing interventions. This article presents the results of comparative research into the effect on recipients of the introduction of different contractual devices into delivery of services aimed at the rehabilitation of disabled people in two Italian regions, Lombardy and Campania.

Social policy responsiveness in developed democracies

C. Brooks and J. Manza

American Sociological Review, vol.71, 2006, p.474-494

This article advances the proposition that in mature democracies politicians have incentives to incorporate public preferences into welfare policies in order to reduce the risk of both electoral loss and civil disobedience or protests. The authors analyse a new dataset combining a measure of social policy preferences with data on welfare state spending, controlling for established causal factors influencing social policy. Results suggest that public opinion exerts a significant influence over welfare state spending, particularly in European social and Christian democracies. The analyses also examine the contribution of cross-national differences in levels of policy preferences to understanding welfare state variability. Here, analysis suggests that cross-national differences in social policy preferences help to explain a portion of the widely noted variations that characterise social, Christian Democratic and liberal welfare state regimes.

South Korea: developing social policy and practice in a changing society

L. Ross (editor)

Social Policy and Society, vol.5, 2006, p.373-439

This themed section presents a set of papers that explore the potential impact of social policy reform and societal change on some groups of people in Korea in the early 21st century: frail older people and their carers, people with learning disabilities and young people. It also considers the increasing role of the voluntary sector in delivering “welfare-to-work” policies and the future of healthcare provision, particularly for the poorest people. The final paper considers the value of a cross-cultural study experience to a small group of Koreans studying in the UK and who are working within this environment of social and political change.

Work/family policy in France: from state familialism to state feminism?

A. Revillard

International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, vol.20, 2006, p.133-150

Traditionally the French state has supported and promoted the family as an institution whose interests outweigh those of its individual members. Given the gendered division of labour, this promotion of family interests may impede women’s participation in the labour market. Paradoxically, however, French women started working outside the home earlier than in many other Western countries. This article analyses the tension between familialist ideology and women’s high rate of participation in the labour market. It shows how state familialism has been challenged since the 1960s by several social and political trends, including the creation of government bodies tasked with promoting women’s rights.

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