• Differences in the development of welfare states in different capitalist societies and in the impact of neoliberalism Flashcards Preview

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Liberal welfare states

-Government provides minimum level of welfare services
-health and welfare services are basic and state provided services are residual- mainly for the poor
-expectation that the family and religious religious or charitable institiutions will play a major part in providing health and social welfare services
- state organizes and subsidizes soical insurance schemes that protect the better off and those in middle class occupations


Examples of liberal welfare states

Portugal , Spain


Corporatist welfare states

-less dependent on the market and a more laissez-faire approach than liberal welfare.
-well developed welfare system
-government leading both organization and provision of health, welfare and education services
-can be privately or publically funded
-conservative in their approach


Examples of corporatist welfare states



Social democratic welfare states

- emphasis is on social equality
- high levels of public money spent upon welfare and social security
-Services are comprehensive available to all and of a very high standard
-social democratic welfare states such as Sweden place a lot of emphasis on the work ethic and the importance of keeping people in work, which is supported by welfare provision.


Examples of social democratic states



Gosta Esping-Andersen (1990)

Three worlds of welfare capitalism

‘Welfare regimes’ of capitalist societies differ according to

their degree of decommodification

their effects on social stratification



4 theories of welfare state development


4 theories of welfare state development

Power resources
Historical instutionalism



Industrialisation is linked to economic and demographic changes
Family is weakened as a traditional source of economic security
Ageing population creates new social needs
Industrial societies develop welfare states to respond to these changes
‘convergence theory’ C Kerr, H Wilensky
Functionalist perspective
Does not explain why different industrial societies have different kinds of welfare state.


Power resources

Politically centred perspective
Welfare states are the outcome of a political competition between capitalists and workers
Marxist perspective
Organised labour uses civil and political rights to advance its claims for redistribution of wealth and social rights
Esping-Anderson: different welfare regimes in capitalist societies are the product of these contests between capital and labour
Does not say much about the political role of other social movements based on race or gender inequalities


Historical instutionalism

Existing social institutions shape the development of social policy and state welfare
In particular bureaucratic organisations which develop their own vested interests.
Becomes very difficult to change policy fundamentally – ‘path dependent development’ more common than ‘path departing development’ e.g Basic Income
‘policy creates politics’, rather than the other way round



Variations in national cultures and values explain differences in welfare states
For example USA: greater dominance of individualism has prevented developments similar to those in Europe
‘Discourses’ (remember MUD, SID and RED) are powerful ‘policy paradigms’ – rooted in local and national histories - that shape the development o`f state welfare.


Patterns of welfare provision in rich societies

All make some form of publicly financed/ regulated provision for such conditions as old age, unemployment etc.
All have provision around ‘common human needs’ of health, education, housing …
All have seen a marked increase in social expenditure in the twentieth century
All are witnessing an intense debate about levels of social expenditure