Sociology Welfare States
by
Jeremy Seekings
  • LAST REVIEWED: 09 September 2014
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 July 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0065

Introduction

The growth of the welfare state has been a central feature of the societies—capitalist, increasingly urban, and mostly democratic—that gave rise to sociology as a discipline. Between the late 19th century and the late 20th, states in the more industrialized countries expanded their roles in the provision of public services and the distribution of income, providing varying degrees of protection against the risk of poverty. These services included public education, housing, and health care, as well as programs of contributory social insurance (which protected against risks, especially of ill health, disability, unemployment and old age) and noncontributory social assistance (which maintained the incomes of the poor). A large and vibrant literature has grown around the construction of welfare states in the advanced capitalist countries, and the different forms that the welfare state took in these cases. As the welfare state came under renewed fiscal pressure and political criticism in the advanced capitalist countries in the late 20th century, so political sociologists turned their attention to the resilience and reconstruction of these welfare states. At much the same time, scholars turned to other parts of the world, especially Latin America and East Asia, and began to analyze the origins, development, and form of welfare states in these regions. Taking middle-income and even poor economies into account also has extended further the diversity of forms that must be accommodated within the comparative study of the welfare state. The improving availability of data has facilitated the quantitative analysis of cross-national and even cross-temporal variation in the form of welfare states, especially in the advanced capitalist societies of the global North but also, increasingly, across large parts of the global South. While the systematic study of crossnational variation has progressed rapidly, much of the literature on welfare states, especially in the global South, continues to entail single-country case studies.

Handbooks and Textbooks

The welfare state is well served in terms of handbooks. Castles, et al. 2010 provides an up-to-date review of scholarship on the welfare state, although it is much weaker on the global South than the global North. Pierson and Castles 2007 and Leibfried and Mau 2008 collect classic articles on the welfare state. Textbooks on the welfare state tend to be nationally particularistic, focused on a single country case study. Béland 2010 is a useful text, although focused on the United States, while Hill 2006 provides a more encompassing analysis.

Journals

The study of the welfare state is unusually “bookish.” Castles, et al. 2010 (cited under Handbooks and Textbooks) reports that two-thirds of the almost 1,900 citations in the volume’s bibliography refer to books and book chapters, with journal articles accounting for less than 30 percent (p. 2). The journals with the most citations in their bibliography are the UK-based Journal of European Social Policy and Journal of Social Policy (see also Social Policy and Administration). Many seminal articles have, however, been published in US-based comparative politics journals such as World Politics). Among recently established journals is Global Social Policy. The International Social Security Association (linked to the International Labour Organisation) has published since 1948 the International Social Security Review, which is an invaluable source for the analysis of welfare state building in the global South as well as the global North. The International Journal of Social Welfare tends to publish work on the social consequences of social policy. Many articles on the global South are published in area studies journals or journals based in the South. Important articles have also been published in the Annual Review of Sociology and general sociology journals such as the American Sociological Review.

Datasets and Websites

A number of transnational agencies collate useful information on their websites, as well as distributing their own publications. These include the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA). The most widely used sources of aggregate data for the global North are the Social Expenditures Database from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Comparative Welfare States Database. There is, unfortunately, no equivalent dataset for the global South, although the World Bank and other transnational agencies are collating and making available more and more useful data. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) collates household-level data on incomes in a growing set of countries in the global South as well as North. Descriptions of welfare programs are available from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) and from the Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database.

Classic Works

While the general idea of a welfare state can be traced back to the late 19th century in Germany, Scandinavia, Britain, and even Australia, New Zealand and the United States, the concept was transformed in the aftermath of the Great Depression and especially during World War II. The single most important document in this was the 1942 Beveridge Report, which set out in grandiose terms both an overall vision and detailed policies for the postwar reconstruction of social insurance, social assistance, public health and education in the United Kingdom. The report prompted and shaped proposals, debate, and reform across much of the world during the mid-1940s. Polanyi 2001 (first published 1944) and Marshall 1992 (first published 1950) were the first two attempts to theorize rising public intervention in markets to promote “welfare.” The scholarly study of the welfare state took off following the massive postwar expansion of welfare states in Europe and elsewhere. Titmuss 1958 pioneered the analysis of the different forms of welfare state in western Europe, while Briggs 1961 pioneered their historical sociology. Wilensky 1975 emphasized the relationship between economic development and social expenditures, whilst Collier and Messick 1975 pioneered the study of transnational influences. Rimlinger 1971 provided the first thorough comparative analysis of welfare state building, and Piven and Cloward 1993 analyzed social policy as a form of social control.

  • Beveridge, William. 1942. Social insurance and allied services: Report of the Inter-departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services. Cmnd. 6404. London: HMSO.

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    Perhaps the most important document in the history of the welfare state: the 1942 report of the one-man commission of enquiry into prospective postwar reforms of Britain’s welfare state, which informed the massive expansion of welfare states across Europe and elsewhere after World War II.

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  • Briggs, Asa. 1961. The welfare state in historical perspective. Archives Européennes de Sociologie 2.2: 221–258.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0003975600000412Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Initiates the comparative historical study of welfare state building through an analysis of the British case in relation to the German and other cases.

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  • Collier, David, and R. E. Messick. 1975. Prerequisites versus diffusion: Testing alternative explanations of social security adoption. American Political Science Review 69.4: 1299–1355.

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    Foundational study of the role of transnational factors in the timing of welfare state building in the early 20th century.

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  • Marshall, Thomas H. 1992. Citizenship and social class. In Citizenship and social class. Edited by Tom Bottomore, 1–51. London: Pluto.

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    Marshall’s Anglocentric essay analyzes the welfare state as the institutional expression of “social citizenship,” following on civil rights (institutionalized in the courts) and political rights (though elected legislatures). First published in 1950.

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  • Piven, Frances Fox, and Richard A. Cloward. 1993. Regulating the poor: The functions of public welfare. 2d ed. New York: Vintage.

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    Piven and Cloward argue that US elites expanded welfare benefits in response to, and in order to defuse, pressures from below. The updated edition covers the Reagan and first Bush presidencies. First published in 1971.

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  • Polanyi, Karl. 2001. The great transformation: The political and economic origins of our time. Boston: Beacon.

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    Polanyi’s classic analysis of the “great transformation” of European societies with the commodification of both labor and needs, and the political counter-movement of demands that states take action against markets, including through “decommodification” via the welfare state. Originally published in 1944.

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  • Rimlinger, Gaston. 1971. Welfare policy and industrialization in Europe, America and Russia. New York: Wiley.

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    Foundational text for the historical comparative analysis of welfare state building.

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  • Titmuss, Richard. 1958. Essays on the welfare state. London: George Allen & Unwin.

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    Presents, inter alia, the first typology of welfare states, distinguishing between three different forms, which Esping-Andersen adopted as the basis of his “three worlds of welfare capitalism.”

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  • Wilensky, Harold L. 1975. The welfare state and equality: Structural and ideological roots of public expenditures. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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    Analyzes the growth of public expenditure in European and North American welfare states in terms of social and economic modernization.

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Overviews and Reviews

The literature on the welfare state has grown so rapidly that literature reviews are clearly warranted. The most useful are in Castles, et al. 2010. Amenta, et al. 2001 and Alber 2010 compare the welfare states on either side of the North Atlantic, and the literatures on these divergent welfare states. Hicks and Esping-Andersen 2005 provides a concise summary of the evolving literature on the welfare state in the global North, while Carnes and Mares 2007 emphasizes the need to look beyond the global North for a more global analysis of welfare state building.

  • Alber, Jens. 2010. What the European and American welfare states have in common and where they differ: Facts and fictions in comparisons of the European social model and the United States. Journal of European Social Policy 20.2: 102–125.

    DOI: 10.1177/0958928709358791Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Alber challenges the notion that the American welfare state is a laggard, with only “residual” public provision. Alber demonstrates that, in some respects, the US welfare state is extensive.

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  • Amenta, Edwin, Chris Bonastia, and Neal Caren. 2001. US social policy in comparative and historical perspective: Concepts, images, arguments, and research strategies. Annual Review of Sociology 27: 213–234.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.27.1.213Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reviews the history of the US welfare state in the context of the evolving literature on welfare state building in Europe; argues that the same questions should be asked of different welfare states, even if a particular approach (institutional analysis) is of more value in any individual case (the United States).

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  • Carnes, Matthew, and Isabela Mares. 2007. The welfare state in global perspective. In Oxford handbook of comparative politics. Edited by Charles Boix and Susan Stokes, 868–885. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Call for scholarship on the welfare state to shift from a historical focus to a comparative one, encompassing not only the well-studied cases of the global North but also the much larger and more varied set of cases across the global South.

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  • Castles, Francis, Stephan Leibfried, Jane Lewis, Herbert Obinger, and Christopher Pierson, eds. 2010. Oxford handbook of the welfare state. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199579396.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Chapters provide overviews of scholarship on the diversity of forms and varied histories of the welfare state, the various policies provided by welfare states, the roles played by selected social actors and political institutions.

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  • Hicks, Alexander, and Gøsta Esping-Andersen. 2005. Comparative and historical studies of public policy and the welfare state. In Handbook of political sociology. Edited by Thomas Janoski, Robert Alford, Alexander Hicks, and Mildred Schwartz, 509–525. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Provides a concise review of analyses of welfare states, focused on the global North.

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Theoretical Approaches

The study of the welfare state is one that draws on, and is located within, a range of disciplines besides sociology, including political economy, political science (especially in the United States), economics, and social policy studies. The multidisciplinary character of this field has fueled a diversity of theoretical approaches. Wilensky 1975 exemplifies an approach that focuses on the economic and social changes that accompanied industrialization, economic growth, and demographic change. Korpi 1983 and Esping-Andersen 1990 emphasize the importance of the “power resources” of the competing social classes formed through these processes. Baldwin 1990 emphasizes that classes sometimes cooperate, forming coalitions, rather than compete. Pampel and Williamson 1989 and Williamson and Pampel 1993 provide a more pluralist analysis that looks beyond social classes to a wider range of interest groups, including the elderly. Other scholars (such as Malloy 1979, on Brazil) emphasize the preemptive statecraft of political and economic elites, seeking to manage processes of change and deter or co-opt class-based mobilization from subordinate groups. In the 1990s, especially, a new generation of scholars insisted on the importance of a gendered analysis (see Gendering the Welfare State). Political scientists, especially in the United States, have tended to emphasize a different set of factors, concerning primarily the design of political institutions and the ensuing incentives and constraints on political actors. Skocpol 1992, on the United States, was a pioneer of this approach.

  • Baldwin, Peter. 1990. The politics of social solidarity: Class bases of the European welfare state, 1875–1975. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511586378Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Emphasizes the importance of multi-class coalitions in the construction of the more generous and far-reaching European welfare states, before and after World War II; uses the cases of Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden to explore how the middle classes can be brought into multi-class coalitions through their interest in protection against risks that transcend class.

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  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 1990. The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Building on classic studies of welfare state building, this book provided the foundation for most subsequent scholarship on the comparative study of welfare states. The core of the book comprises a class-based analysis of the historical origins, character, and consequences of three distinct “worlds” of welfare capitalism: the “social democratic” welfare regimes of Scandinavia, the “conservative” or “corporatist” welfare regimes of continental Europe, and the “liberal” Anglo-American welfare regimes.

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  • Korpi, Walter. 1983. The democratic class struggle. London: Routledge.

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    The form and level of public spending on the welfare state reflect working-class power, rather than industrialization or economic development per se or the strategies of political or economic elites. Working-class power is expressed through both trade unions and social democratic political parties.

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  • Malloy, James. 1979. The politics of social security in Brazil. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Now classic account of welfare state building in Brazil between the 1920s and 1960s, emphasizing the importance of statecraft, i.e., reforms imposed from above so as to buy off or co-opt actually or potentially dangerous interest groups.

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  • Pampel, Fred C., and John B. Williamson. 1989. Age, class, politics, and the welfare state. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Argues that the changing age structure, and specifically the growth of the elderly population, was the primary cause of increased spending on the elderly in the advanced capitalist economies between 1950 and 1980; this demographic factor interacted with democratic politics, i.e., the extent of political participation and party competition.

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  • Skocpol, Theda. 1992. Protecting mothers and soldiers: The political origins of social policy in the United States. Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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    Shows that the United States was not a laggard in the period 1880–1920, but rather was different, spending public money on women (as mothers) and former soldiers (and their dependents) rather than on mostly male workers, as in Europe. The Great Depression reoriented the US welfare state in a more orthodox direction.

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  • Wilensky, Harold L. 1975. The welfare state and equality: Structural and ideological roots of public expenditures. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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    Analyzes the growth of public expenditure in European and North American welfare states in terms of social and economic modernization.

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  • Williamson, John B., and Fred C. Pampel. 1993. Old-age security in comparative perspective. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Argues against monocausal, especially class-reductionist, explanations of welfare state development, using a comparative historical analysis of provision for retirement in Germany, Britain, Sweden, and the United States, as well as India, Nigeria, and Brazil.

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The Global North

The study of the welfare state has, until recently, been almost entirely concerned with the countries of the global North, and especially with a small set of cases in northwestern Europe (including Scandinavia) and the United States. Both theoretically and empirically, most pioneering analysis of the welfare state has been concerned with this core of the global North. The periphery of the global North—including southern and central Europe, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand—became the subject of study somewhat later, and, even now, scholarship on the global South remains limited. Notwithstanding the small number of cases (i.e., countries) in the global North, scholarship has been concerned primarily with explaining variation between welfare states. Beginning with Esping-Andersen, empirical and theoretical work has sought to reduce the variety of welfare states across the global North into a more parsimonious typology, while a large number of case studies and comparative works have sought to explain the origins and development of distinct types of welfare state.

Typologies

Building on Polanyi’s theoretical foundations and Titmuss’s sketchy typology of welfare states in Europe, Esping-Andersen 1990 set out a typology of the “three worlds” of “welfare capitalism,” covering the advanced capitalist economies of the global North. One set of critics charged that Esping-Andersen’s typology misclassified cases such as Australia and New Zealand (e.g., Castles and Mitchell 1993) or southern Europe (e.g., Ferrera 1996). As we shall see below, another set criticized the typology for neglecting gender. In response, Esping-Andersen 1999 defended and amended the author’s typology. Hicks 1999 and Huber and Stephens 2001 also extend Esping-Andersen’s foundational work. Arts and Gelissen 2002 and Arts and Gelissen 2010 review the debate on the multiple worlds of welfare capitalism. Janoski and Hicks 1994 is a pioneering but not dated analysis of the importance of methodology in the study of the welfare state.

  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 1990. The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Building on classic studies of welfare state building, this book provided the foundation for most subsequent scholarship on the comparative study of welfare states. The core of the book comprises a class-based analysis of the historical origins, character and consequences of three distinct “worlds” of welfare capitalism: the “social democratic” welfare regimes of Scandinavia, the “conservative” or “corporatist” welfare regimes of continental Europe, and the “liberal” Anglo-American welfare regimes.

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  • Arts, Wil, and John Gelissen. 2002. Three worlds of welfare capitalism, or more? A state-of-the-art report. Journal of European Social Policy 12.2: 137–158.

    DOI: 10.1177/0952872002012002114Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Review essay on the first generation of welfare state scholarship following on from Esping-Andersen 1990.

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  • Arts, Wil, and John Gelissen. 2010. Models of the welfare state. In Oxford handbook of the welfare state. Edited by Francis Castles, Stephan Leibried, Jane Lewis, Herbert Obinger, and Christopher Pierson, 569–583. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Extends the authors’ earlier article (Arts and Gelissen 2002) by considering recent criticisms of Esping-Andersen’s “three worlds of welfare capitalism.”

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  • Castles, Francis, and Deborah Mitchell. 1993. Worlds of welfare and families of nations. In Families of nations. Edited by Francis Castles, 93–128. Aldershot, UK: Dartmouth.

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    Modifies Esping-Andersen’s typology, distinguishing “radical” welfare states (Australia, New Zealand, and perhaps the United Kingdom) from the other “liberal” welfare states (especially the United States).

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  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 1999. Social foundations of post-industrial economies. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Extends Esping-Andersen’s earlier typology by developing analysis of the relationship between public policy and familial provision in different welfare regimes.

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  • Ferrera, Maurizio. 1996. The “southern model” of welfare in social Europe. Journal of European Social Policy 6.1: 17–37.

    DOI: 10.1177/095892879600600102Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for a distinctive “Southern” (European) model of welfare, with more extensive familial role than in any of Esping-Andersen’s types of welfare regime.

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  • Hicks, Alexander. 1999. Social democracy and welfare capitalism: A century of social security politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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    Uses primarily quantitative data, backed up with historical narrative, to show that the uneven growth of welfare states in the advanced capitalist countries is due primarily to the organizational strength of workers through unions and social democratic political parties, and the power of worker-based parties in governing coalitions.

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  • Huber, Evelyne, and John Stephens. 2001. Development and crisis of the welfare state. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Emphasizes the importance of partisan politics, and the relations between political parties, labor and capital, in the making and remaking of welfare states in the advanced capitalist democracies of the global North.

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  • Janoski, Thomas, and Alexander Hicks, eds. 1994. The comparative political economy of the welfare state. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Collection of essays on the methodologies employed in the study of the welfare state in Europe and North America.

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Gendering the Welfare State

Perhaps the most fundamental criticism of Esping-Andersen’s early work, as well as of much other early work on the welfare state, was its neglect of the gendered dimensions of the welfare state. The importance of gendered relations and ideology in the design of welfare states was demonstrated by Skocpol 1992 for the United States, Pedersen 1993 for Britain and France, and O’Connor, et al. 1999 for the Anglo-American welfare states. Bock and Thane 1991 pointed to the roles played by women’s movements. Orloff 1996 and Sainsbury 1999 focused more on the theory of the welfare state, including the assumption of the male breadwinner that underpinned not only the historical design of most welfare states but also subsequent analyses of them. Orloff 2009 emphasizes the unfinished nature of the project of gendering the analysis of welfare states.

Western Europe

The origins and transformation of different welfare states in western Europe comprise a huge field of historical, sociological and political research. Offe 1984 provided the last strong statement of the welfare state as a form of social control, before a new generation of scholarship, headed by Esping-Andersen, analyzed welfare state building in terms of the power of the working class. Going beyond Esping-Andersen, Baldwin 1990 emphasized the importance of multiclass coalitions, and Korpi and Palme 1998 showed that multiclass coalitions resulted in more redistributive spending patterns. Swenson 2002 and Mares 2003 pointed to the important role sometimes played by capital. Lynch 2006 applied a more institutional analysis to different European welfare states. Lindert 2004 collated and analyzed the fullest set of historical data on welfare state building.

  • Baldwin, Peter. 1990. The politics of social solidarity: Class bases of the European welfare state, 1875–1975. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511586378Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Emphasizes the importance of multiclass coalitions in the construction of the more generous and far-reaching European welfare states, before and after World War II; uses the cases of Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden to explore how the middle classes can be brought into multiclass coalitions through their interest in protection against risks that transcend class.

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  • Korpi, Walter, and J. Palme. 1998. The paradox of redistribution and strategies of equality: Welfare state institutions, inequality and poverty in the Western countries. American Sociological Review 63.5: 661–687.

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    Demonstrates that universal welfare programs are more redistributive than ones that are targeted on the poor, because they make possible a broader, multiclass coalition of supporters, which in turn sustains much more generous total expenditure.

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  • Lindert, Peter. 2004. Growing public: Social spending and economic growth since the eighteenth century. Vol. 1, The story. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Comprehensive analysis of the growth of social spending across the 19th and 20th centuries, focused on public education, social assistance (including poor relief) and social insurance, in the advanced capitalist societies (mostly Europe, some analysis of the United States and very brief discussion of the global South).

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  • Lynch, Julia. 2006. Age in the welfare state: The origins of social spending on pensioners, workers, and children. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511606922Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Lynch shows that welfare states in the advanced capitalist countries differ in terms of their relative spending on the elderly and nonelderly, even controlling for the demographic structure of the population. She explains these differences in terms of the institutional incentives to politicians to promote programmatic, citizenship-based policies rather than particularistic, occupationalist ones.

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  • Mares, Isabela. 2003. The politics of social risk: Business and welfare state development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Finds that capital played important roles in welfare state building in Germany and France, through cross-class coalitions; case studies focus of accident insurance, unemployment insurance, the politics of universal social insurance, and the politics of early retirement.

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  • Offe, Claus. 1984. Contradictions of the welfare state. Edited by John Keane. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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    Draws on Luhmann’s systems theory and Marxism to examine (European) welfare states as mechanisms for “crisis management” through a general ordering of social, economic, and political life; pays special attention to the contradictions inherent in the welfare state, including between commodification and decommodification.

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  • Swenson, Peter. 2002. Capitalists against markets: The making of labour markets and welfare states in the United States and Sweden. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Shows how capitalists shaped welfare state building and labor market regulation in Sweden and the United States.

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The United States

A series of studies have sought to make sense of the distinctive origins and development of the US welfare state, variously emphasizing institutional and social or cultural factors. Skocpol 1992 and Amenta 1998 explore the initially generous phase in the history of the US welfare state, emphasizing the importance of the specific design of US political institutions. Garfinkel, et al. 2010 emphasizes that the United States is still no laggard with respect to public education, and Howard 1997 reveals the “hidden” side of the US welfare state in terms of tax deductions. Hacker 2002 analyzes the massive private provision of welfare, and the political consequences of this with regard to the truncated reach of public provision. Page and Jacobs 2009 shows that US citizens support some forms of public expenditure and intervention, although Lieberman 1998 and Gilens 2000 remind us of the enduring importance of racial cleavages in the design of the postwar US welfare state. Steensland 2007 explores the role of culture in the failure of one set of attempts to extend public welfare provision.

  • Amenta, Edwin. 1998. Bold relief: Institutional politics and the origins of modern American social policy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Examines why the United States was a world leader in social spending in the mid-20th century, and why this distinction was short-lived; argues that the patronage-oriented (rather than programmatic) party system and “under-democratized” political system set elected politicians against the expansion of the American welfare state, except in the exceptional circumstances of the early 1930s.

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  • Garfinkel, Irwin, Lee Rainwater, and Timothy Smeeding. 2010. Wealth and welfare states: Is America a laggard or leader? Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Emphasizes that the United States has been a “leader” with respect to expenditures on public education, while a “laggard” on social insurance and social assistance.

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  • Gilens, Martin. 2000. Why Americans hate welfare: Race, media and the politics of antipoverty policy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Examines how the media racialized public opinion on “welfare” in the United States: racial stereotypes, rather than underlying hostility to pro-poor state policies per se, drive popular opposition to the welfare state.

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  • Hacker, Jacob. 2002. The divided welfare state. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Analysis of public and private (or market-based) provision of welfare in the United States, emphasizing path dependence arising from the political consequences of earlier policies and institutions.

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  • Howard, Christopher. 1997. The hidden welfare state: Tax expenditures and social policy in the United States. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Examines the history of the US “hidden welfare state,” by which Howard means tax-deductible private spending on retirement pensions, home mortgages, and earned income and other tax credits.

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  • Lieberman, Robert C. 1998. Shifting the color line: Race and the American welfare state. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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    Examines the implicit or explicit racialization of public welfare in the United States across the 20th century.

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  • Page, Benjamin, and Lawrence Jacobs. 2009. Class war? What Americans really think about economic inequality. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Argues that Americans are “conservative egalitarians”: while they are philosophically conservative in their suspicion of big government and preference for improving opportunities rather than outcomes, most Americans are “operationally liberal” in that they support and defend government programs that address inequalities.

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  • Skocpol, Theda. 1992. Protecting mothers and soldiers: The political origins of social policy in the United States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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    Shows that the United States was not a laggard in the period 1880–1920, but rather was different, spending public money on women (as mothers) and former soldiers (and their dependents) rather than on mostly male workers, as in Europe. The Great Depression reoriented the US welfare state in a more orthodox direction.

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  • Steensland, Brian. 2007. The failed welfare revolution: America’s struggle over guaranteed income policy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Focusing on the case study of radical welfare reforms in the United States under President Nixon, this book emphasizes the importance of incorporating an analysis of cultural constraints (such as the distinction between deserving and undeserving poor) into the study of public policy. (See also Steensland’s article in American Journal of Sociology 111.5 [2006]: 1273–1326).

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Japan, Australasia, and Central Europe

The different approaches developed for the northwestern European and North American core of the global North have also been applied, challenged, and modified in countries on the periphery of the global North. Castles 1985 shows that a class analysis could usefully be applied to Australia and New Zealand, but that attention needs to be paid to the role of the state in shaping the distribution of earnings as much as to its role in redistribution through the budget. Estévez-Abe 2008 applies institutionalist analysis to Japan, whilst Kasza 2006 uses the Japanese case to question whether the concept of a welfare regime assumes and imposes excessive coherence on disparate public policies. Inglot 2008 shows that cross-national differences persist over long periods of time in central Europe, while Haney 2002 shows that even during the communist period there were significant shifts in the character of the Hungarian welfare state.

  • Castles, Francis. 1985. The working class and welfare: Reflections on the political development of the welfare state in Australia and New Zealand, 1890–1980. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

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    Examines the making of a “wage-earners’” welfare state in Australia and New Zealand, emphasizing the importance of struggles by the organized working class.

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  • Estévez-Abe, Margarita. 2008. Welfare and capitalism in postwar Japan: Party, bureaucracy and business. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511510069Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Japan is distinctive among the advanced capitalist countries for having egalitarian income distribution despite low tax rates and barely redistributive social spending. This book explains this in terms of the egalitarian emphasis of economic policies. The patterns and changes in Japanese public policy are explained primarily in terms of electoral incentives, which favor targeted rather than programmatic expenditure.

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  • Haney, Lynne A. 2002. Inventing the needy: Gender and the politics of welfare in Hungary. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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    Periodizes the changing status of women in the Hungarian welfare state under and after communism; avoiding a simple dichotomy between welfare socialism and welfare capitalism, Haney distinguishes between the early period of communist rule (when welfare was universal and work-oriented) and the later period (when it was maternalist).

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  • Inglot, Tomasz. 2008. Welfare states in east central Europe, 1919–2004. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511510175Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the construction and reconstruction of social insurance in Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic and Slovakia since 1993), Poland, and Hungary between the early 20th and early 21st centuries. Despite some similarities, these cases also exhibit persistent differences, which have become more readily apparent since post-communist democratization.

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  • Kasza, Gregory. 2006. One world of welfare: Japan in comparative perspective. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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    Argues against the view that the Japanese welfare state was distinctive, and uses the Japanese case to criticize Esping-Andersen and others’ typologies of welfare regimes.

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Crisis and Resilience

The rise of “neo-liberalism” accompanying economic globalization put pressure on welfare states in the advanced capitalist democracies at the end of the 20th century. A large literature has examined why “retrenchment” in public welfare provision has been uneven, despite the general effect of globalization. Pierson 1994 pioneered the study of how welfare states produced political constituencies opposed to retrenchment (see also Pierson 2001, Ferrera 2005 and Brooks and Manza 2007). Swank 2002 shows generally that the effects of globalization were mediated through domestic politics. Another focus of research has been the challenge posed to welfare states by immigration. Banting and Kymlicka 2006 shows that there is little evidence that multiculturalism undermines support for the welfare state. The increasing difficulty of maintaining full employment has, however, generated problems for the welfare state, as shown by Scharpf and Schmidt 2000 and Korpi 2003. Political and economic changes have reshaped welfare states in eastern Europe and the disintegrating Soviet Union in distinct ways, as Cook 2007 shows.

  • Banting, Keith, and Wil Kymlicka, eds. 2006. Multiculturalism and the welfare state: Recognition and redistribution in contemporary democracies. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Mostly empirical studies, using data from Europe, North America, and Latin America, of the relationship between multiculturalism and support for the welfare state.

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  • Brooks, Clem, and Jeff Manza. 2007. Why welfare states persist. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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    Considers the evidence for how public attitudes may influence the size of national welfare states. Documenting a lack of evidence for either convergence or retrenchment in terms of national welfare effort in the rich welfare state countries, the authors argue that public opposition to welfare state retrenchment is a critical bulwark against any significant retrenchment that globalization models predicted. See also Brooks and Manza’s article “Social Policy Responsiveness in Developed Democracies” in American Sociological Review 71 (2006): 474–494.

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  • Cook, Linda. 2007. Postcommunist welfare states: Reform politics in Russia and eastern Europe. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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    Examines the uneven reform of welfare policies in the Russian Federation, with comparison with Poland, Hungary, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

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  • Ferrera, Maurizio, ed. 2005. Welfare state reform in southern Europe: Fighting poverty and social exclusion in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. London: Routledge.

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    Case studies of welfare systems in southern Europe—Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal—focusing on the uneven expansion of social assistance programs.

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  • Korpi, Walter. 2003. Welfare-state regress in western Europe: Politics, institutions, globalization, and Europeanization. Annual Review of Sociology 29:589–609.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.095943Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Review essay on the welfare state that emphasizes the consequences for welfare state restructuring in the global North of the declining commitment to full employment.

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  • Pierson, Paul. 1994. Dismantling the welfare state? Reagan, Thatcher and the politics of retrenchment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Argues that attempts to retrench welfare states in the global North ran up against strong opposition from interests and constituencies created around the welfare state itself. See also Pierson’s article “The New Politics of the Welfare State” in World Politics 48 (1996): 143–179.

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  • Pierson, Paul, ed. 2001. The new politics of the welfare state. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1093/0198297564.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Studies of different aspects of the politics of public welfare provision in Europe and North America suggest that globalization has caused neither general “retrenchment” of welfare states nor any convergence on any one model; the postwar social contract has been renegotiated and restructured, not dismantled.

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  • Scharpf, Fritz W., and Vivien A. Schmidt, eds. 2000. Welfare and work in the open economy. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Thorough study of the consequences of globalization on welfare states and labor market policies in the advanced capitalist economies.

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  • Swank, Duane. 2002. Global capital, political institutions, and policy change in developed welfare states. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511613371Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Domestic politics determined whether economic globalization led to retrenchment in public welfare provision in the advanced capitalist democracies. Retrenchment was resisted in countries with inclusive political coalitions, social corporatist interest representation, centralized political authority, and welfare programs focused on social insurance.

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The Global South

In the 1990s and especially the early 2000s, the study of the welfare state in the global South has taken off. A few countries in the global South (notably the immigrant societies of Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa) have histories of welfare state building that date back almost as far as those of the global North, and there are notable early examples of analysis of such cases. But it is following the “third wave” of democratization that countries across much of the South have adopted the kinds of programs that warrant discussion of them as, at least, nascent welfare states. The study of the welfare state has grown most dramatically in Latin America and East Asia. At the same time, the state obviously plays much less of a role across much of the global South than in the global North. In many cases, states as well as markets remain weakly developed, and kin and community continue to play very important roles. The study of the welfare state remains relatively poorly developed in Africa, the Middle East, and, especially, South Asia.

Typologies

Typologists of the welfare states in the global South have sought to build on the foundations provided by Esping-Andersen, but in the very different conditions of unevenly developed states and markets. Esping-Andersen 1996 presents southern cases as simply undeveloped versions of their northern counterparts. Gough, et al. 2004 pays more attention to the weak or even predatory nature of the state across much of the global South. Haggard and Kaufman 2008 distinguishes among the different welfare systems of East Asia, Latin America, and eastern Europe. Other scholars, however, emphasize variation within regions. For example, Filgueira and Filgueira 2002 and Martinez Franzoni 2008 examine variation within Latin America. Wood and Gough 2006, Rudra 2007, and Abu Sharkh and Gough 2010 employ cluster analysis and other techniques to classify countries across the global South in terms of criteria such as the development of markets (and hence commodification), the role of the state in decommodification, and the relative roles of state and family. Rudra 2008 also examines in detail the cases of Brazil, Korea, and India as examples of three types of welfare regime.

  • Abu Sharkh, Miriam, and Ian Gough. 2010. Global welfare regimes: A cluster analysis. Journal of Social Policy 10.1: 27–58.

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    Builds on Wood and Gough 2006, applying cluster analysis to data on a larger set of countries and for both 1990 and 2000. The analysis broadly confirms the earlier findings, while noting also some divergence among “informal security regimes” and the effects of the AIDS pandemic in southern Africa and increased transnational remittances in other cases.

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  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta, ed. 1996. Welfare states in transition: National adaptations in global economies. London: SAGE.

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    Comprises case studies of Latin America, East Asia, and eastern Europe (as well as cases from the global North), together with a review by Esping-Andersen which interprets these southern cases as following broadly the same trajectories, but later, as the pioneering countries of the global North.

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  • Filgueira, Carlos H., and Fernando Filgueira. 2002. Models of welfare and models of capitalism: The limits of transferability. In Models of capitalism: Lessons for Latin America. Edited by Evelyn Huber, 127–157. University Park: Pennsylvania Univ. Press.

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    Distinguishes between three welfare state models in Latin America according to the extent of their coverage and inequalities in benefits, and examines the effects on these of recent economic and social changes.

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  • Gough, Ian, Geof Wood, Armando Barrientos, Philippa Bevan, Peter Davis, and Graham Room. 2004. Insecurity and welfare regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America: Social policy in developmental context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511720239Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A pioneering attempt at making sense of the diverse forms of public and private welfare provision across the global South. Emphasizes the uneven development of state as well as markets across much of the global South.

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  • Haggard, Stephan, and Robert R. Kaufman. 2008. Development, democracy, and welfare states: Latin America, East Asia, and eastern Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Using a mix of quantitative and historical analysis, Haggard and Kaufman trace the differences between welfare systems in Latin America, East Asia and eastern Europe to the 1940s, and show how they responded distinctively to democratization and globalization at the end of the 20th century.

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  • Martinez Franzoni, Juliana. 2008. Welfare regimes in Latin America: Capturing constellations of markets, families, and policies. Latin American Politics and Society 50.2: 67–100.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-2456.2008.00013.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Uses cluster analysis with data from eighteen Latin American countries to distinguish between “productivist” welfare regimes that prioritize commodification or the development of markets, “protectionist” ones that prioritize decommodification, and “nonstate familialist” ones where families, and especially women, continue to play the major role.

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  • Rudra, Nita. 2007. Welfare states in developing countries: Unique or universal? Journal of Politics 69.2: 378–396.

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    Uses cluster analysis to distinguish between “productive” welfare states in the global South (ones that prioritize commodification or the development of markets) and “protective” ones (that prioritize decommodification), with a few cases in an intermediate “dual” category.

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  • Rudra, Nita. 2008. Globalization and the race to the bottom in developing countries: Who really gets hurt? Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511491870Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Using cross-national quantitative data as well as case studies of Brazil, South Korea, and India, Rudra argues that globalization has undermined the benefits from public welfare accruing to middle-income and richer social groups. The poor, who were excluded from the public welfare system until recently, have neither gained nor lost out.

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  • Wood, Geof, and Ian Gough. 2006. A comparative welfare regime approach to global social policy. World Development 34.10: 1696–1712.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2006.02.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Uses cluster analysis and finds some evidence for the typology developed in Gough, et al. 2004.

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Latin America’s Origins and Transformation

Welfare state building outside the advanced capitalist economies of the global North generally entailed an emphasis on social insurance programs for relatively privileged groups of formal-sector workers, often imposed from above under authoritarian or semi-democratic regimes. Mesa-Lago 1978 pioneered the study of Latin America, excepting Brazil. This omission was addressed in the exemplary study of Malloy 1979, subsequently updated (for the 1980s) by Weyland 1996. More recently, Brachet de Márquez 1994 and Dion 2010 survey the history of welfare state building in Mexico, and Borzutzky 2002 does the same for Chile. Uruguay, which was the pioneer in Latin America, remains understudied in English, although Ehrick 2005 provides an important analysis of the gendered dimension to the Uruguayan experience.

  • Borzutzky, Silvia. 2002. Vital connections: Politics, social security and inequality in Chile. Notre Dame, IN: Univ. of Notre Dame Press.

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    Details welfare state building in Chile from the 1920s to the 1970s, and restructuring under an authoritarian regime in the 1980s.

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  • Brachet de Márquez, Viviane. 1994. The dynamics of domination: State, class, and social reform in Mexico, 1910–1990. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Explains welfare state building in Mexico between the 1910s and the 1980s in terms of class compromise, with incumbent political elites expanding public welfare in response to class-based mobilization from below.

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  • Dion, Michelle L. 2010. Workers and welfare: Comparative institutional change in twentieth-century Mexico. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Examines welfare state building in Mexico between the 1910s and early 2000s, focusing on the growth of social insurance and, in the late 20th century, a shift from social insurance to social assistance programs. Growth and transformation are explained primarily in terms of the rising and then declining need to incorporate organized labor.

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  • Ehrick, Christine. 2005. The shield of the weak: Feminism and the state in Uruguay. Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press.

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    Examines the role of feminist activism in the construction of the Uruguayan welfare state (as well as other areas of public policy).

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  • Malloy, James. 1979. The politics of social security in Brazil. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Now classic account of welfare state building in Brazil between the 1920s and 1960s, emphasizing the importance of statecraft, i.e., reforms imposed from above so as to buy off or coopt actually or potentially dangerous interest groups.

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  • Mesa-Lago, Carmelo. 1978. Social security in Latin America: Pressure groups, stratification and inequality. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Another now classic, essentially pluralist account of welfare state building across most of Latin America (excepting Brazil), emphasizing the role of interest groups.

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  • Weyland, Kurt. 1996. Democracy without equity: Failures of reform in Brazil. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Examines the social and institutional constraints on pro-poor reforms of social insurance and public health care, as well as tax policy, in Brazil.

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Contemporary Latin America

Globalization coincided with democratzsation across most of Latin America, with two consequences. First, the high costs of social insurance programs that benefit non-poor formal-sector workers has pushed democratic governments in Latin America toward retrenchment, as in the global North. Castiglioni 2005 examines the Chilean model of privatized pensions. This model has been replicated very unevenly, however, for reasons of domestic politics, as shown by Madrid 2003, Brooks 2009, Segura-Ubiergo 2007 and Weyland 2006. Second, social assistance programs have proliferated, including conditional cash transfers such as the Bolsa Famila program in Brazil (see especially Melo 2008) and similar programs in Mexico (Dion 2010). Food subsidy programs have also persisted, and proved unexpectedly pro-poor, as Fox 1993 shows for Mexico.

  • Brooks, Sarah. 2009. Social protection and the market in Latin America: The transformation of social security institutions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Examines the different ways in which Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Mexico adopted, adapted, or rejected in the 1990s the privatization of social insurance pioneered in the 1980s by Chile. Brooks argues that the extent of reforms cannot be read off economic openness, regime type, or the political power of relevant social groups. Rather, outcomes reflected the messiness of political interactions.

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  • Castiglioni, Rosanna. 2005. The politics of social policy change in Chile and Uruguay: retrenchment versus maintenance, 1973–1998. London: Routledge.

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    Examines reforms of social security, health care, and education under military and democratic regimes in Chile and Argentina since the mid-1970s.

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  • Dion, Michelle L. 2010. Workers and welfare: Comparative institutional change in twentieth-century Mexico. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Examines welfare state building in Mexico; the second half examines the shift from social insurance to social assistance programs in the late 20th century; this transformation is explained primarily in terms of declining need to incorporate organized labor.

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  • Fox, Jonathan. 1993. The politics of food in Mexico: State power and social mobilization. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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    Shows how food subsidy programs introduced in Mexico in the 1980s proved more pro-poor than previous state policies because their design facilitated poor citizens’ holding bureaucrats to account.

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  • Madrid, Raúl L. 2003. Retiring the state: The politics of pension privatization in Latin America and beyond. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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    Examines the reform of social insurance in Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil in the 1990s. Argues that patterns of reform cannot be explained in terms of economic crisis, regime type, or the balance of power between capital and labor, and points instead to other economic objectives (notably the perceived need to boost domestic savings), the role of ideas, and the relative power of executives and legislatures.

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  • Melo, Marcus. 2008. Unexpected successes, unanticipated failures: Social policy from Cardoso to Lula. In Democratic Brazil revisited. Edited by Timothy Powers and Peter Kingstone, 161–184. Pittsburgh, PA: Univ. of Pittsburgh Press.

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    Explains the expansion of social assistance in Brazil, under the consecutive presidencies of Cardoso and Lula, by reference to electoral competition between them.

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  • Segura-Ubiergo, Alex. 2007. The political economy of the welfare state in Latin America: Globalization, democracy, and development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511510984Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focusing primarily on the period since 1973, this book combines quantitative analysis of cross-national data on Latin America with case studies of Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Simultaneous globalization and democratization resulted in expanded expenditure on public education and health care, but put downward pressure on expenditure on (distributionally regressive) social insurance programs.

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  • Weyland, Kurt. 2006. Bounded rationality and policy diffusion: Social sector reform in Latin America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Explores the diffusion of policy reforms in terms of elites’ cognitive psychology and the bounds to “rational” behavior, using case studies of pension and health care reform in five Latin American cases (Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, and El Salvador).

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East Asia

East Asia was long viewed as a laggard in terms of welfare state building, as authoritarian regimes constructed “developmental states” rather than welfare states, and used social policies primarily as instruments for economic development, as Goodman, et al. 1998 documented, and secondarily and selectively as mechanisms for political legitimation, as Kwon 1999 and Ku 1997 argued for Korea and Taiwan respectively (see also Haggard and Kaufman 2008, cited under Typologies) for a general analysis in comparison to Latin America and eastern Europe). Hong Kong, which had quite different colonial origins, nonetheless moved in the same general direction, and for similar reasons, as Tang 1998 shows. The result was that in all of these cases the family—and family-like capitalist firms—played extensive roles. This prompted some discussion of whether East Asia comprised a type of welfare regime distinct from Esping-Andersen’s three worlds of welfare capitalism (see Goodman, et al. 1998). In Korea and Taiwan, democratization was accompanied by a dramatic expansion of both contributory and noncontributory welfare programs. Wong 2004, in a thorough analysis of the politics of health insurance, and Kwon 2004 assess that these reforms entailed fundamental change, although Kwon and Holliday 2007 argue that social policy in Korea and Taiwan remains productivist in orientation (see also Holliday and Wilding 2003). Ramesh 2000 extends this analysis to Southeast Asia.

Africa and the Middle East

Across most of Africa and the Middle East, welfare states remain much more limited. In the mid-20th century there was a flurry of activity as the late colonial state tried to remold rural and urban subjects, as Cooper 1996 shows generally and Lewis 2000 shows. South Africa was the major exception, with welfare programs introduced to reinforce a racial hierarchy and later extended to the whole population, albeit unequally, as shown by Seekings and Nattrass 2005 and Seekings 2007. Across most of Africa, kin remained the primary source of welfare, although over time variations did emerge in the roles that kin play and the norms associated with these, as MacLean 2010 shows. Across the Middle East, religious and secular organizations in civil society continue to play major roles, as is shown by Baylouny 2010 for Jordan and Lebanon; Clark 2004 for Egypt, Jordan ,and Yemen; and Jawad 2009 for Lebanon (see also Gal and Greve 2010).

  • Baylouny, Anne Marie. 2010. Privatizing welfare in the Middle East: Kin mutual aid associations in Jordan and Lebanon. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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    Shows how the shrinkage of state welfare policies led to the proliferation of private mutual aid associations based on kin solidarity among the middle classes in Jordan and Lebanon.

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  • Clark, Janine. 2004. Islam, charity and activism: Middle-class networks and social welfare in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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    Examines the roles of Islamist charities and social welfare organizations in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen; shows they are run by and primarily for the middle classes, not the poor.

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  • Cooper, Frederick. 1996. Decolonization and African society. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511584091Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cooper traces the origins of welfare systems in colonial East and West Africa to attempts by colonial administrations to reorder both the urban and rural populations in the 1940s and early 1950s.

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  • Gal, John, and Bent Greve, eds. 2010. Special issue: Regional issue: The Middle East. Social Policy and Administration 44.6 (December).

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    Includes case studies of Israel, Iran, and Turkey.

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  • Jawad, Rana. 2009. Social welfare and religion in the Middle East: A Lebanese perspective. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.

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    Examines the roles played by religious organizations, Muslim and Christian, in welfare provision in Lebanon.

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  • Lewis, Joanna. 2000. Empire state-building: War and welfare in Kenya, 1925–52. Athens, OH: Ohio Univ. Press.

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    Examines the efforts of the British colonial state in Kenya to reorder rural and urban society through “social welfare” activities in the 1940s.

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  • MacLean, Lauren M. 2010. Informal institutions and citizenship in rural Africa: Risk and reciprocity in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511730368Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Contrasts villages on either side of the border between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to show the legacy of differences in colonial rule for villagers’ attitudes toward both private welfare systems (through informal and reciprocal relationships) and the state.

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  • Seekings, Jeremy. 2007. “Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924–1929. Journal of African History 48.3: 375–394.

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    Traces the origins of South Africa’s exceptional system of social assistance to the 1920s, and the concern to uphold a racial hierarchy in the face of social, economic and political change.

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  • Seekings, Jeremy, and Nicoli Nattrass. 2005. Class, race and inequality in South Africa. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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    Argues that, in middle-income countries such as South Africa, welfare provision needs to be understood in terms of broader “distributional regimes,” i.e., through their interactions with policies toward the labor market and economic growth path. In South Africa, pro-poor public welfare spending, including especially social assistance programs, mitigated the consequences of labor market and growth path policies that benefit the nonpoor and disadvantage the poor.

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Transnational Influences

Many studies of the welfare state have limited their gaze to a single case or two or three cases, treating each as an autonomous entity. Yet it is clear that models and ideas cross national boundaries, and cases affect one another. The study of the diffusion of models and ideas was pioneered by Collier and Messick 1975. More recently, Weyland 2004, Weyland 2007, and Orenstein 2008 have examined thoroughly the diffusion of models of welfare retrenchment across not only national boundaries within regions, but also between regions, examining the interaction of transnational factors and domestic politics. While recent studies focus primarily on the World Bank as a transnational actor, Seekings 2010 examines the role of the ILO in the first half of the 20th century.

  • Collier, David, and R. E. Messick. 1975. Prerequisites versus diffusion: Testing alternative explanations of social security adoption. American Political Science Review 69.4: 1299–1355.

    DOI: 10.2307/1955290Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Foundational study of the role of transnational factors in the timing of welfare state building in the early 20th century.

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  • Orenstein, Mitchell. 2008. Privatizing pensions: The transnational campaign for social security reform. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Examines the roles played by the World Bank and other transnational organizations in the diffusion of models of pension reform, shaping the knowledge, preferences, and resources of domestic actors.

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  • Seekings, Jeremy. 2010. The ILO and welfare reform in South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, 1919–50. In ILO histories: Essays on the International Labour Organization and its impact on the world during the twentieth century. Edited by Jasmien Van Daele, Magaly Garcia Rodriguez, Geert Van Goethem and Marcel van der Linden, 145–172. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang.

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    Examines the role of the International Labour Organisation in the diffusion of welfare models in the 1920s and 1930s, in Latin America, Southern Africa and the Caribbean; shows that the ILO’s publicizing of and provision of technical assistance for the implementation of German-style social insurance programs influenced but did not override domestic political factors.

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  • Weyland, Kurt, ed. 2004. Learning from foreign models in Latin American policy reform. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.

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    Reviews the diffusion of social policy reform models across Latin America, with case studies of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Columbia.

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  • Weyland, Kurt. 2007. Bounded rationality and policy diffusion: Social sector reform in Latin America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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    Explores the diffusion of policy reforms in terms of elites’ cognitive psychology and the bounds to “rational” behavior, using case studies of pension and health care reform in five Latin American cases (Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru and El Salvador).

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Consequences of Welfare States

Improved accessibility and quality of data, both between and within countries, has made possible more precise assessments of the consequences of welfare states, especially on easily measured variables such as poverty rates. Brady 2005 demonstrates that welfare spending has major effects on poverty rates in the advanced capitalist democracies. Leisering and Leibfried 1999 examine changes in German individuals’ poverty over the life course. Goodin, et al. 1999 extends this analysis for selected advanced capitalist democracies, and considers also changes in social inclusion. Garfinkel, et al. 2010 scrutinizes the effects of the American welfare state. Esping-Andersen emphasized that welfare states shaped social stratification. Subsequent work (see Gendering the Welfare State) emphasized the importance of a gendered analysis of the effects of (as well as making of) welfare states. Daly 2000 shows that welfare states have distinct effects on the gendered distribution of care work. Gallie and Paugam 2000 examines how different welfare regimes tackle the challenge of rising unemployment. Much of the recent work on the politics of welfare policy reforms (see Crisis and Resilience) emphasizes the political effects of welfare states in terms of creating constituencies with an interest in protecting programs against the threat of retrenchment. For the global South, there are many country-specific studies of the effects of specific welfare programs on income poverty, but few of broader social consequences, and analysis of political consequences is largely limited to studies of pension reform in Latin America (see Contemporary Latin America).

  • Brady, David. 2005. The welfare state and relative poverty in rich Western democracies, 1967–1997. Social Forces 83.4: 1329–1364.

    DOI: 10.1353/sof.2005.0056Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Uses data from eighteen advanced capitalist democracies from the late 20th century to show that social security transfers and public health spending in these countries reduces poverty, and that the effects of welfare state spending outweigh the effects of economic or demographic variation.

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  • Daly, Mary, 2000. The gender division of welfare: The impact of the British and German welfare states. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Focuses on how welfare states shape the distribution between men and women of care work—for children, the ill, and the elderly, as well as routine domestic work in the home—in Germany and Britain. This book contrasts the male breadwinner model in Germany with the more gender-neutral, if parsimonious in terms of spending, British model.

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  • Gallie, Duncan, and Serge Paugam, eds. 2000. Welfare regimes and the experience of unemployment in Europe. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Distinguishes between the responses to rising unemployment of different kinds of welfare regime in eleven European countries.

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  • Garfinkel, Irwin, Lee Rainwater, and Timothy Smeeding. 2010. Wealth and welfare states: Is America a laggard or leader? Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Examines the effects of the welfare state in the United States with respect to income poverty, human capital, and opportunities.

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  • Goodin, Robert, Bruce Headey, Ruud Muffels, and Henk-Jan Dirven. 1999. The real worlds of welfare capitalism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511490927Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    How do welfare regimes affect individuals over time? Using panel data from the Netherlands, Germany and the United States (as examples of social democratic, conservative, and liberal regime types), this book argues that social democratic regimes perform best by diverse criteria including poverty and inequality reduction, social integration, and promotion of economic growth.

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  • Leisering, Lutz, and Stephan Leibfried. 1999. Time and poverty in Western welfare states: United Germany in perspective. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Using evidence from Germany, with limited comparison with other cases, this study examines changing patterns of poverty and exclusion over the life course. German original published 1995.

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New Directions

Ever-improving data and the ever-changing nature of societies drive much new work on the welfare state. Esping-Andersen himself (Esping-Andersen, et al. 2002 and Esping-Andersen 2009) remains a combative defender of the welfare state, showing how it can address new challenges and continue to contribute to social justice. But the study of the contemporary welfare state can no longer be reduced to the study of the welfare state in one corner of Europe, or even western Europe as a whole. Studies of the welfare state have, unsurprisingly, been colored by the implicit yardstick against which other cases have been compared. In the 1930s, advocates of Bismarckian welfare states, based on social insurance for mostly male workers in formal employment, held up the German model as the ideal. The Nazi regime and World War II led to a short-lived celebration of a British ideal, articulated by Beveridge and theorized by Marshall, that promised universal and egalitarian benefits through a mix of contributory and noncontributory programs. After the war this ideal was realized, however, not in Britain but in Scandinavia, and the social democratic welfare state became the yardstick for comparison. With this yardstick, scholars of the advanced capitalist societies of the global North have pioneered innovative theoretical enquiry and systematic empirical research, building the study of the welfare state as one of the jewels in the social scientific crown. In celebrating social democratic welfare regimes, however, Esping-Andersen was arguably guilty of social democratic bias. Consideration of a wider range of welfare states has pushed the field in new directions, including familial provision and care work, and the ways that the state shapes patterns of commodification such that decommodification becomes less necessary. Welfare states are intimately bound to varieties of capitalism and to development. Overcoming residual social democratic bias is a continuing challenge. It requires, inter alia, additional attention to the interaction of culture, political institutions, and political economy, as Svallfors 2007 and Van Oorschot, et al. 2008 have advocated. At the end of the 20th century, institutionalist analyses rose in importance in the study of the welfare state. Closer attention to norms, values and beliefs—or the “moral economy” of welfare states, as Mau 2003 calls it—is warranted. Continuing attention also needs to be paid to gendered analysis, as Orloff 2009 argues.

  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 2009. Incomplete revolution: Adapting to women’s new roles. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    Examines how welfare states have adapted, and should adapt, to the changing roles played by women in society and the economy, in the global North.

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  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta, Duncan Gallie, Anton Hemerijck, and John Myles. 2002. Why we need a new welfare state. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1093/0199256438.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Esping-Andersen and coauthors examine some of the challenges to the welfare state in Europe, and ways in which the welfare state can be reconstructed to address emergent forms of risk and thus contribute to social justice.

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  • Mau, Steffen. 2003. The moral economy of welfare states: Britain and Germany compared. London: Routledge.

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    Examines the normative bases of the British and German welfare states, and the consequencs of institutions for attitudes and beliefs.

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  • Orloff, Ann Shola. 2009. Gendering the comparative analysis of welfare states: An unfinished agenda. Sociological Theory 27.3: 317–343.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2009.01350.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A broad review of the gendered analysis of welfare states in the two decades from 1990; argues that gendered insights have, to a significant extent, been incorporated into mainstream scholarship, but mainstream scholarship resists a full engagement with feminist scholarship.

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  • Svallfors, Stefan, ed. 2007. The political sociology of the welfare state. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

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    Examines the interactions between “orientations” (or beliefs, attitudes and identities), social and economic cleavages (whether based on interests or norms), and institutional arrangements, using data from surveys of public opinion in selected advanced capitalist democracies.

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  • van Oorschot, Wim, Michael Opielka, and Birgit Pfau-Effinger, eds. 2008. Culture and welfare state: Values and social policy in comparative perspective. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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    Edited collection including chapters on normative conceptions of the good society, variation in popular values and beliefs about welfare capitalism, and the relationships between cultural change and welfare reform.

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