Click here to skip to content

Welfare reform on the Web (October 2006): Welfare state - overseas

A conceptual model exploring the dynamics of government non-profit service delivery

S. Cho and D.F. Gillespie

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, vol.35, 2006, p.493-509

Federal, state and local governments in the USA have developed collaborative relationships with nonprofit organisations to deliver human services. As government spending on social welfare programmes has grown since the 1960s, studies have shown that the federal government is now a primary funding source of nonprofit activities. In this article, the authors develop a dynamic resource theory to map the process of interdependence between government and nonprofit organisations and hypothesise key mechanisms governing the relationship. They explain how government regulations can help to improve or to lower the quality of service and how the balance of power between government and nonprofit organisations shifts over time.

Gender and social policy in a global context: uncovering the gendered structure of ‘the Social’

S. Razavi and S. Hassim (editors)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

This book addresses the central questions of how social and economic rights have been historically constructed and shaped by processes of political and economic change. Although there have been changes in the balance of work and care in many societies, this book shows that in many contexts gender inequalities persist. Despite women’s increasing participation in paid work, labour markets continue to reproduce gender-based inequalities in wages/income, work-related social benefits, and social security. The book also explores the linkages between the norms and assumptions on which social institutions are constituted in different countries, and the ways these have structured women’s work burdens and access to entitlements.

The politics of post-industrial welfare states: adapting post-war social policies to new social risks

K. Armingeon and G. Bonoli (editors)

London: Routledge, 2006

The book focuses on new social risks and their implications for politics and policy-making. At present welfare states provide only limited protection against these risks, which include: lone parenthood, difficulties in reconciling work and family life, low pay, or long-term unemployment. The book concentrates on the process of adapting welfare states to changing structures of social risk. First, it looks at how those who are most exposed to the new risks (women, the young, low-skilled workers) mobilise in the political arena and present their demands, then moves on to analyse specific instances of welfare state adaptation in the fields of care policy, pensions and labour market policies. The adaptation process is made more difficult by the existence of strong competing claims for public resources from those political actors who fight for the preservation of traditional welfare state programmes.

Reflexive democracy: political equality and the welfare state

K. Olson

London: MIT Press, 2006

The book outlines a conception of welfare centred on carefully reconfigured ideals of political equality, democratic legitimacy, and citizenship. It shows how deeply intertwined welfare is with political processes, the formation of legitimate laws, and cultural struggle. It reveals deep-seated egalitarian norms at the heart of the welfare state – norms derived not from economic, but political equality. Using the recent United States welfare reforms as an example, it shows that the participatory ideal has normative traction in the society, providing a more solid basis for a political turn in welfare.

Statecraft, welfare, and the politics of inclusion

K. Jayasuriya

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

The book examines new and innovative welfare strategies which have heralded the emergence of a new social policy climate in countries as diverse as Korea, Brazil, the UK and Thailand. It argues that these forms of welfare governance provide a logic and rationale for the social policy agenda distinct from the neo-liberal model. The book locates this social politics within the transformation of the older ‘idea of welfare’, marking a shift from social democratic notions of social protection, to welfare as economic participation and inclusion.

What makes people support public responsibility for welfare provision: self-interest or political ideology?

M.M. Jaeger

Acta Sociologica, vol.49, 2006, p.321-338

The aim of this article is to study what makes people support the principles of the welfare state. Two main theoretical perspectives, one relating to the self-interest of the individual and the other to his/her political ideology and values have been proposed as causal explanations in the literature. Unfortunately, as existing empirical studies have relied exclusively on cross-sectional data, causal interpretations of which socio-economic and ideological variables affect welfare state attitudes have been hard to sustain. This study made use of data from a Canadian two-wave longitudinal study and an extended random-effect model to provide a more accurate analysis of the extent to which self-interest and political ideology actually determine support for welfare state principles.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web