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Flashcards in Welfare state Deck (45)
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The rise in Socialist left politics

n the 1930s Social democratic parties came to power in Denmark, Sweden and Norway- they implemented important socia reforms. During the decades after the war they were able to effectively control the direction of welfare politics due to their strong established position. Iceland and Finland on the other hand were less so influenced by such parties and thus their welfare development can be less attributed to political development in the left.


the idea of public responsibility

there was an emphasis on the idea that people were the driving force behind the welfare state as this is who it was meant to work for.


Characteristics of the nordic Model include- form a women’s perspective

he dependence of women on their spouses dropped due to the citizenship approach where by women were entitled to participate in state and women have very much become part of the dual earner state that is contrasted with the rest of Europe where women play a much more secondary role on the household.


The quality of social welfare models is often based on...

the content of the schemes of development rather than the input per se. That said there is a certain minimum level of input required in order for them to be a success.


1990 study on GDP expenditure

Sweden and Denmark were dedicating 30% of their GDP to Public social expenditure
Taxation also ranked very highly in comparison to the rest of Europe.
Health expenditure separated the Scandinavian countries from the rest of the world


most enduring stereotypes

he Nordic Model that emerged post war is


towards en of the 19th century the social welfare someone received was based on

the ‘undeserving’ or ‘deserving’ of the group.


three social welfare models

He noted that the Australian and Canadian model provided for a minimum allowance/ safety net for the lower classes- this was a liberal approach
he approach in many western societies depended much on the catholic church and was much more conservative. It tended to reinforce strong family and social structure.
n the Scandinavian models even the middle class was incorporated into the welfare scheme- they focus on universal benefits. - social problems for the old-age, education and child care were not simply for the poor but instead for all of the classes.


Taxation levels in 1980

accounted for 50% og GDP in N,S,D


Pre socialist developments roots of welfare

he introduction a state pension scheme emerged in 1913 in Sweden whilst in Norway and Denmark there unemployment insurance policies introduced in Denmark and Norway by the Bourgeois. The emergence of a strong Nordic welfare model was down to the previous strength gained by a majorly agrarian middle class



was also a key aspect of shaping the nordic social model- the ideal of being self dependent and willingness to work was a keystone in the success of the Social model.


Policy in Sweden to counter emigration

during the late 19th century there was an own-your-own-home movement that emerged in this bid to counter emigration and encourage self reliance.


Legal framework put in place at the end of the 19th century

was a key in the long lasting success and growth of the welfare model- for example the tax funded pension introduced in Denmark in 1891 was only reformed for the first time just under a century later.


Compromise of the Universalist label

The sickness insurance in Norway that was introduced was only obligatory was certain social groups


Importance of inter war period for social welfare

t created major economic difficulties and as a result this lead to a growth in the popularity of the social democratic wings of the governments. They aimed to target the economic inequality and general poor standards of social welfare that had emerged during the wars.


The wage earners model

The way in which these socialist parties implemented change was also to be questioned.
Some groups were excluded in the pension scheme- even in the Norwegian one were the exceptions with those living abroad and beggars excluded. In social insurance too there was the idea that only respectable workers could be given this


Fault in the Swedish universal approach

in the 60s 1.4 million wage earners were still being excluded from the insurance policy to protect them against unemployment


Instead of calling it a Universal model

It would be more apt to say that Universalism within the context of a welfare state could only be applied in part to the Nordic states during the 20th century. This said, the nordic state welfare model depended much more heavily on the universal aspects than other welfare models did.


Backwards Finland

the only insurance scheme that existed until the 60s was the workers accident scheme. This said due to demands from the trade union movements, Finland introduced strong labour protection laws much before the likes of Sweden and Denmark.


Social welfare closely linked to economic efficiency. Three examples.

pre war period where due to industrialisation there was more of a focus of the integration of the working classes who had a bigger say
hen the impact of the inter war period where leftist Governments looked to get the economy stronger
finally the period of retrenchment where governments aimed to counter the effects of the economic difficulties with reduced spending


Which period of reform attracted the most attention from abroad?

The period between the wars- influenced crucially Finland as a newly independent nation.


Poor population levels-

ack of faith in the ability to reproduce and maintain stable population levels lead to a focus on family life. - this came in the form of improved child care access and better awareness of birth control which saw giving birth transformed into a planned, controlled and reasoned decision.



Eugenics also emerged as a way of eliminating mentally retarded form the Scandinavian population- in the 40s around 80% of sterilisation was concerned with this ambition. That said, sterilisation was never promoted in line with the Nazi model.


By the 70s what criticism emerged of the work of the Social democrats?

continued economic growth, inequality persisted.
Due to this there was an effort by new up and coming socialists to improve social inequality-


which group benefited from the drive by radical leftists in the 70s?

Women- they were able to take advantage of the growing public sector and by the 1990s Norway experienced the highest levels of employment for Women in the world.
Women were also permitted to combine child care with education and work.


Dual bread mentality

Not totally a result of the welfare system. The dual bread mentality had long been established- the idea of women and men working was common in agrarian societies so really this change was only effective in supporting the growth due to the rise in the urban population.


The image of the welfare state was attacked during the 70s from the right as well

they were seen to be encouraging conformity and decreasing productivity. The popular progress movements emerged in the right of Denmark and Norway. They criticised the expansive benefits system that broke up economic efficiency.


Problems facing the model today

The effect of European integration, globalisation and criticism from within have all been major talking points for the development and future of the Nordic model. Mass immigration is seen as unaffordable whilst there has also been an increase disillusionment due to the decreasing in influence of the Social democrats after the economic struggles of the 70s.


late 80s and 90s economic struggles

this period saw serious economic problems confronting Sweden, Denmark and Finland- Danish government launched a number of welfare restructuring policies


Globalisation caused change

The economic integration and international political cooperation hindered the freedom previously held to conduct a policy on its own free will