Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2007): Welfare state - overseas

The case for an EU-wide measure of poverty

T. Fahey

European Sociological Review, vol. 23, 2007, p. 35-47

Poverty in the European Union (EU) is normally defined and measured with reference to income thresholds defined at the level of each member state, independently of any conside
ration of inequalities in income between member states. Following the recent Eastern enlargement of the EU, the gap in living standards between the richest and poorest member states has widened, so that what is defined as the poverty threshold in the richest member states would count as above average income in the poorest. This article presents the case for adopting EU-wide poverty measures alongside existing indicators.

Family policies in France and Germany: sisters or distant cousins?

J. Fagnani

Community, Work and Family, vol.10, 2007, p.39-56

Both France and Germany, unlike other EU countries, have an explicit policy for the support of families, which are regarded playing an important role in the maintenance of social cohesion. In both countries families receive generous support from the taxation system and cash benefits. However, France differs from Germany with regard to childcare provision and public support for working mothers. France promotes the early socialisation of children, and, along with the Scandinavian countries, leads the EU in public childcare provision. In Germany, where maternal care is highly valued, there are still considerable gaps in provision, particularly for children under three, and the male breadwinner/female part-time carer model is being actively promoted. These differences may contribute to a pattern where French mothers are more frequently employed full-time and have more children.

Hidden change: disaggregation of welfare state regimes for greater insight into welfare state change

D. Bannink and M. Hoogenboom

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.17, 2007, p. 19-32

This article proposes a method for the disaggregation of welfare state regimes that promotes an understanding of how innovative changes occur. Welfare states are made up of various approaches to managing social risks which may themselves consist of different arrangements, each with their own allocation mechanism and coordination. These approaches create a residue of inadequate provision that may evoke social tension which in turn may lead to innovative change.

Making a better living from care giving: comparing strategies to improve wages for care providers

I.L. Bourgeault and P. Khokher

Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol.43, 2006, p.407-425

Several strategies have been used to improve the wages of largely female care providers. These tactics are: 1) increasing entry-to-practice credentials; 2) organising and unionising; 3) invoking pay equity considerations; and 4) seeking public funding for services. This article offers a comparative examination of the effectiveness of these four strategies in achieving adequate levels of remuneration in nursing, midwifery and child care in Canada.

“Old” and “new” politics of time to care: three Norwegian reforms

A.L. Ellingsaeter

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.17, 2007, p. 49-60

This article explores the justifications put forward by politicians in support to three welfare state reforms in Norway. The extension of parental leave and the introduction of a quota reserved for fathers were justified on the grounds of promoting gender equality and recognition of the importance of parental care for very young children. A new entitlement to a cash benefit for all families not using publicly funded childcare introduced in 1998 was justified on the grounds of promoting freedom of choice. Restrictions on benefits for lone parents also introduced in 1998 were supported by arguments that they would reduce welfare dependency and promote women’s economic autonomy.

“Sifting the wheat from the chaff”: a two-dimensional discriminant analysis of welfare state regime theory

C. Bambra

Social Policy and Administration, vol.41, 2007, p.1-28

Welfare state modelling has long been an important strand within comparative social policy, serving as a means of reducing the complexity of cross-national welfare state provision. However, since Esping-Andersen produced his classification of welfare states into three types (Liberal, Conservative and Social Democratic) in 1990, alternative categorisations have proliferated. This article seeks to establish which of these various typologies is the most useful by comparing the classifications using discriminant analysis and multivariate analysis of variance.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web