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Chapter 6 takes a close look at the watershed moment of World War II to show how Africans’ demands for better working conditions, greater political participation, and more social services pressured European nations to reform the development episteme. Economic hardship during the war intensified African vulnerability to poverty, malnutrition, and disease. Britain passed the new Colonial Development and Welfare Act (CDWA) in 1940, and France followed suit with the establishment of the Fonds d’Investissement pour le Développement Economique et Social (the Investment Fund for Economic and Social Development) (FIDES) in 1946. Unlike pre–World War II colonial development policies that demanded self-sufficiency, these initiatives provided significant metropolitan funding for economic and social programs in Africa without the stipulation that they result in a direct return on investment. European colonial development in Africa was no longer simply investment in colonial industries; now it claimed to promote the welfare of African people. Imperial powers envisioned postwar development as a solution to growing dissent in Africa and budding anticolonial movements across the globe at the end of the war. The new colonial development policies signaled a desperate attempt to keep colonialism alive at a time when it seemed perilously out of date.
How does unemployment risk affect workers’ support for demanding active labour market policies (ALMPs)? There may be a substantial number of workers who experience unemployment risk from labour market disruptions. Yet, we know less about its impact on demanding ALMP support than the impact of unemployment status. Here, I explore the impact of unemployment risk through automation. Automation-threatened workers’ support for demanding ALMPs may be influenced by two opposing considerations that are linked to their potential reliance on welfare. First, they may worry about barriers to welfare access. Second, they may worry about welfare competition, especially under austerity. Their support for demanding ALMPs would hence depend on which consideration they find to be most salient. Based on the European Social Survey (2016) data on West European countries, I find that automation-threatened workers significantly support such policies. This may indicate that they find welfare competition concerns more salient than welfare access ones.
There has been a general increase in poverty over the last decade in Italy, which has mainly affected the younger generations, with children and youth experiencing the worst economic conditions. This is primarily not due to a lack of available economic resources but to the way in which these resources are allocated: mainly in the form of cash transfers rather than services. The provision of adequate services based on professional work needs to be implemented by overcoming two main obstacles which are highlighted by the results of two studies presented here. The first study concerns the quality of professional care and the systematic use of outcome evaluation, the second concerns the vision of professionals and their ability to integrate the provision of services with economic support aimed at improving children’s growth and parenting skills. The two studies were carried out as part of an international debate on how to effectively fight poverty and social exclusion of children which was promoted by the International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children’s Services (iaOBERfcs).
Few studies to date have analysed individual support for universal basic income (UBI). This article theorizes and explores empirically the relationship between different strands of left ideology and support for UBI across European countries. We delineate three types of concerns about capitalism: “Labourist Left” worry about exploitation; “Libertarian Left” about repression and “Social Investment Left” about inefficiencies. Contrary to expectations we derive from political theory and welfare state literature, our results based on data from the European Social Survey suggest that having high concerns about exploitation is positively correlated with support for UBI, whereas repression concerns are negatively correlated with support. In line with our hypothesis about social investment ideology, left-leaning individuals with efficiency concerns are more likely to support UBI. Our findings call for more detailed surveys as well as further research on the different ideologies within the Left and how these relate to variation in support for UBI, which crucially shapes the potential political coalition behind the introduction of UBI.
This article reviews the recommodification of social policy in the context of financialised austerity capitalism and post-crisis welfare states. It sets out an understanding of recommodification as a multiple set of processes that involve the state in labour market-making, by shaping labour’s ‘saleability’. Under conditions of finance-dominated austerity capitalism, the article argues that recent dynamics of recommodification complicate the long established Piersonian observations. For Pierson, recommodification signifies how elements of the welfare state that shelter individuals from market pressures are dismantled and replaced with measures which buffer their labour market participation. This article examines ways in which recent policy trends in recommodification, whether by incentivising or coercive means, increase exposure to labour market risks and connect with the growing inequalities between capital and labour under post-crisis re/financialised austerity capitalism. This analysis is paired with a synoptic review of recent labour market trends and reforms across the European Union. As recommodification evolves, the insecurity it institutes raises fundamental questions about the underlying nature of social citizenship which are also addressed.
The concluding chapter focuses on two questions. The first is whether Britain is unique in its identity conflicts. While no other EU member state looks likely to repeat Britain’s EU exit adventure in the near future, the demographic trends driving the emergence of identity conflicts – educational expansion and rising diversity through globalisation and mass migration – are common to most wealthier democracies. The effects of these changes are being felt everywhere – educational and ethnic divides are becoming stronger predictors of political choices in many countries, with ethnocentric ‘us against them’ conflicts over issues such as immigration, national identity, diversity pitting identity conservative white school leavers against identity liberal graduates and ethnic minorities. In the United States, which like the UK uses a first-past-the-post electoral system, similar identity divides have reinforced and deepened longstanding party divisions on race and identity. The second question is what impact identity politics can have outside party and electoral politics. Many policies involve decisions about the distribution of resources between groups, and as such public views of such policies may be radically changed by the mobilisation of identity conflicts. We discuss welfare, equal opportunity and immigration policies to illustrate this disruptive potential.
Disability assessments play a key role in welfare states but are increasingly contested, not least for their compatibility with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This paper draws on evidence of global governance and assessment practices in 34 European countries, the largest international study to date. The paper reflects on the model of disability in the CRPD and its implications for disability assessment, drawing on the work of the CRPD Committee. The paper also examines examples of promising practice in assessment in European countries and concludes by identifying elements of a CRPD-compatible approach. Disability assessments must be underpinned by both a social-contextual concept of disability and a human rights approach. Administrative attribution of disability status based on categorical diagnosis or individual functioning alone is incompatible with this approach. This approach challenges the historic individualization of disability assessments and the knowledge relationships underpinning them.
‘If there is hope, […] it lies in the proles.’ Thus writes Winston Smith in his secret diary, in one of the most famous formulations from Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). This chapter takes a historical and historicist view of this remark, situating Winston’s and the novel’s account of the Oceanian proletariat in relation to Orwell’s understanding of the economico-political predicament of the working class in the 1930s and 1940s. The chapter considers the highly contentious bind into which Nineteen Eighty-Four puts the so-called ‘proles’, a group it constructs from a largely exterior point of view: caught between Winston’s belief in that group’s inevitable, albeit temporally distant, victory, and O’Brien’s insistence that the alleged ‘animalism’ of the proletariat will prevent it from gaining any kind of purchase on the future. I first outline how Orwell’s thinking on the relationship between socialism and the working class developed through the 1930s and 1940s, from The Road to Wigan Pier to the welfare state. I then discuss the moral and reproductive functions ascribed to the proles in the novel in light of Orwell’s political commitments, before addressing the question of whether the novel despairs of class politics, as thinkers such as Raymond Williams have argued.
This article examines the early history of the Hospital de San Hipólito in Mexico City, which delivered charitable care and basic medical services to a vulnerable category of colonial subjects known as “pobres dementes,” or mad paupers. In spite of the vast and robust literature on the history of madness and its institutions, surprisingly little is known about this institution, which, founded in 1567, holds a claim to being the first hospital of the Americas to specialize in the care and custody of the mentally disturbed. The article draws on archival sources and biographies of the hospital's founder to reconstruct San Hipólito's origins, activities, patient population, and interior life. It asks how the hospital registered the transfer and adaptation of institutions, ideas, and practices from the Old World to the New. It argues, ultimately, that San Hipólito served as an imperfect tool of colonial governance—and that it did so less through exerting control over a multiracial, recalcitrant, and marginal group of colonial society than through the reproduction of charitable practices and ideas that lent legitimacy to Catholicism and Hapsburg models of paternal authority.
Some issues in the application of benefit–cost analysis (BCA) remain contentious. Although a strong conceptual case can be made for taking account of the marginal excess tax burden (METB) in conducting BCAs, it is usually excluded. Although a strong conceptual case can be made that BCA should not include distributional values, some analysts continue to advocate doing so. We discuss the cases for inclusion of the METB and the exclusion of distributional weights from what we refer to as “core” BCA, which we argue should be preserved as a protocol for assessing allocative efficiency. These issues are topical because a recent article in this journal recommends ignoring the METB on the grounds that desirable distributional effects offset its cost. We challenge the logic of this article and explain why it may encourage inefficient policies.
This chapter argues for a shift in perspective from Max Weber's theory of value to a theory of worldliness, one drawn from the thought of Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt. Worldliness points to how our involvement in the everyday world is never reducible to technical calculation. The chapter uses this idea to illuminate the relationship between democratic action and the welfare state. Technical calculation, which strives to treat subjects as objects, is mediated by a material world that constitutes a space of collective, non-technical judgments. Welfare institutions, then, are both mechanisms of technical control and worldly objects that form the potential context for political judgment and mobilization. Heidegger and Arendt's analysis of worldliness provides theoretical tools for envisioning the welfare state as a site of democratic mobilization and participation-a perspective embodied in the response of the German workers' movement to Bismarck's reforms. The chapter concludes by examining this response, reconstructing the distinctive socialist vision of social reform.
The conclusion summarizes the main arguments of the book, discusses how they could guide decisions about alternative ways of structuring welfare institutions, examines the context of the American welfare state, and discusses the potential future of the welfare state.
The introduction introduces the basic concerns of the book: how to think about the welfare state in the context of democratic struggles against domination. It examines recent debates about the relationship between democracy and the welfare state as well as work in comparative political science and comparative political economy about the welfare state. It situates the argument of the book in the context of critical theories of domination. Finally, it outlines the plan for the book.
This chapter explains the further development throughout the twentieth century of public finance law and its impact on the distribution of financial authority between parliaments, executives and judiciaries. It accounts for the delegation of ever-greater financial authority to executive governments as a result of a number of major events: the world wars, the growth of the welfare state, the development of central banking and the influence of private-sector managerial philosophies on public administration. Taking a broad sample of Australia, Canadian, New Zealand and UK legislation and judicial doctrine, the chapter describes how and why sovereign borrowing was severed from parliamentary processes, the preponderance of public expenditure came to be authorised by standing (rather than annual) appropriation legislation, central banks acquired independent authority to provide monetary finance to treasuries and how public auditing functions became more concerned with the efficient (rather than lawful) use of public money. The manner in which judiciaries' jettisoned their private-property protecting attitude to taxation legislation is also explained.
This chapter turns to Max Weber's thought, situating him within the larger tradition of German social liberalism, to unearth the implicit assumptions that structure current theories of the relationship between democracy, domination, and the welfare state. Weber's thought forces democratic thinkers and actors to confront the inevitability of complex, bureaucratic organizations in the modern state and the distinctive challenges they pose to transformative politics. At the same time, Weber himself had an ambivalent relationship to such democratic politics. He shares with the social liberals the idea that welfare institutions can turn the democratic demands of the German socialists into the objects of instrumental state administration. They could, so he hoped, transform political conflicts over the organization of power within society-and the challenge to entrenched structures of domination that entailed-into conflicts over material needs that could be rendered calculable by state institutions. Weber's thought represents, at once, a necessary point of departure for thinking about democratic action in the welfare state as well as a particularly vivid distillation of the underlying assumptions that narrow the political horizon of current democratic theorists.
This chapter develops a theory of domination, one that helps discern the normative potential of welfare institutions for democratic social movements. It critically appraises three existing approaches to domination: neo-republican approaches that focus on direct domination, neo-Kantian approaches that focus on structural domination, and post-structuralist approaches that focus on abstract domination. In each case, the chapter shows that the distinctive understanding of domination produces a different picture of the welfare state-both in terms of how we should understand the functioning of welfare institutions as well as how such institutions can overcome or reinforce structures of domination. The chapter argues that domination exists in three worlds-the objective, the intersubjective, and the subjective – each corresponding to a different "face" of power. Advocates of these three perspectives fail to recognize these distinctive levels of analysis or worlds and so overgeneralize from one level of analysis. These three theories, then, offer important insights into the nature of domination – but they are only the building blocks of a theory of democracy, domination, and the welfare state.
This final chapter raises a number of normative research questions for future discussion. How much financial power should be concentrated in representative assemblies? Does law govern the state if not enforced by the judiciary? Should an analytical wall be constructed between 'public' and 'private' finance in constitutional thinking? The promises and limitations of applying some analytical political theories to the design of constitutional institutions are observed, and importance of engaging with data concerning the deliberative capacities and resource constraints incumbent on politicians and public sector employees is emphasised. The conflict between Diceyan models of parliamentary control and modern welfare states is broached, as are the book's points of engagement with the work US constitutional theorists, particularly Scheuerman, Posner and Vermeule. Finally, the position of private financial markets vis-ˆ-vis the state is identified as an important topic in future examinations of finance and constitutionalism.
This chapter reconstructs JŸrgen Habermas's critical theory of domination and uses it to examine the relationship between welfare institutions and democratic social movements. While most scholars approach Habermas as a normative theorist who identifies the moral basis for political critique and democracy in the universal features of human communication, the chapter focuses on another aspect of Habermas's thought: his analysis of the practices through which domination is sustained as well as overcome. The chapter develops two concepts from Habermas's early thought: the causality of fate and the dialectic of moral life. The first term refers to the peculiar manner in which individuals who exist within a structure of domination come to understand themselves as participants in that structure; while the second refers to the political dynamic through which that recognition propels the potential transformation of that structure. The chapter then turns to the critique of gender domination in the Sweden to show how Habermas's categories can help illuminate concrete struggles in the welfare state.
It has long been overlooked that factions of finance such as banks and insurers can have opposing policy interests. This paper is concerned with the preferences and strategies of private financial actors in the context of private prefunded pensions. To capture the “tug of war” among these actors, this paper identifies their different financial business models (insurance- and investment-orientation), political roles (financial incumbents and challengers), and levels at which infighting may occur (political and product-market level). For the German case, it shows that product-market competition among financial incumbents and challengers over retirement savings products only turned into competition politics during the 1990s, when shifting political winds provided an opening to insert path-shaping instruments in line with the program of finance capitalism. Financial actors’ preferences are not a derivative of economic or functional incentives, but socially embedded in that they are crucially shaped by interactions with their competitors and the political environment. The analysis disentangles the complex web of competition, cooperation, and ownership among factions of finance and discerns their genuine preferences from those strategically adjusted to context. This sheds doubt on functionalist explanations of (pension) financialization and enhances our understanding of how financial actors form and pursue their preferences.
Gender critiques of comparative welfare state research have so far predominantly focused on OECD countries but less so in countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Existing comparative social policy research in these regions often cites the importance of informal networks and family for social protection but less attention is paid into gender relations and their importance for the social reproduction of these welfare regimes. The article comparatively analyses gender differences in the sphere of production (captured by the gender gap in formal and informal employment) and social reproduction (captured by time spent on unpaid domestic work). The article identifies regional patterns and explores implications for women’s ability to access welfare and the labour market. Additionally, it shows that informal activities (employment, domestic work) are extensive among many African, Asian, Latin American, but also specific OECD, welfare regimes. The article contributes first by incorporating gender in the analysis of global welfare regime and second by highlighting the importance of informal relationships for the analysis of welfare regimes.