To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
With the evolution towards more service-intensive social investment welfare states across Europe, research on the institutional capacities of subnational welfare provision is increasingly relevant. Based on a comparative case analysis of three post-industrial municipalities in Europe, this article harbors a two-pronged objective: first, empirically, to show how regional and local governance capabilities are crucial to effective SI policy delivery; second, more positively, to bring out the proficiency of vertical coordination between national administration and subnational layers, alongside the critical role of horizontal policy discretion at the local level to align social benefits and capacitating services for the success of SI delivery; and, by implication, the overall responsiveness of national welfare systems to the changing nature of 21st century socioeconomic risks.
A common finding in the literature is that social investment policies are broadly popular among citizens but still politically difficult to implement. This article provides a partial answer to this puzzle by exploring the fiscal trade-offs associated with such a recalibration. Based on survey data from eight Western European countries, it first explores citizens’ fiscal policy preferences with regard to the preferred size of the public sector and the distribution of spending across different subsectors. These preferences are then shown to be significantly associated with attitudes towards fiscal trade-offs regarding the expansion of social investment policies. The results reveal a political dilemma for policy-makers keen on expanding social investment: People who traditionally support a large public sector and more welfare state spending tend to oppose redistributing spending towards social investment, whereas support for such a recalibration is higher among those who have a sceptical view on public spending.
The general discourse in health and social care policy purports digital technology as necessary to meet growing demands for long-term care and health care as a result of an ageing population. This needs critical investigation since public policy influences people's health and wellbeing. This study aims to interrogate critically what we call the ‘digital technology solution’ discourse in local Swedish health and social care policies. The main concern of our analysis is the discursive constructions of older people and their informal carers and how the concept of health is constructed. A discourse analysis was conducted of 61 local policy documents using the ‘What's the Problem Represented to Be’ method. Our analysis revealed that so-called ‘e-health strategies’ were rarely concerned with health. Health was often referred to as an activity and seen as a means to achieve independence among older people. The norm advocated independence, with the responsibility placed upon the older person, supported by digital technology. Informal carers were constructed as a resource within an older person's environment and largely taken for granted. We argue that the digital solution discourse ignores older people's agency and capacities as contributors to society, not least with regards to being providers of informal care.
Chapter 7 is the conclusion. We provide a short and selective synopsis of our argument and briefly review, and elaborate on, the empirical illustrations from previous chapters. Theoretically, we suggest that cross-class solidarity, which has sometimes been linked to dense networks of civic associations, is likely to originate in low information and encompassing social insurance programs. The chapter also discusses promising avenues for future research.
Chapter 1 introduces the topic and motivates our study. It explains the general logic of our argument and introduces the methods and evidence we rely on. The chapter gives an overview of the book’s organization and main insights and hence serves as a preview.
A core principle of the welfare state is that everyone pays taxes or contributions in exchange for universal insurance against social risks such as sickness, old age, unemployment, and plain bad luck. This solidarity principle assumes that everyone is a member of a single national insurance pool, and it is commonly explained by poor and asymmetric information, which undermines markets and creates the perception that we are all in the same boat. Living in the midst of an information revolution, this is no longer a satisfactory approach. This book explores, theoretically and empirically, the consequences of 'big data' for the politics of social protection. Torben Iversen and Philipp Rehm argue that more and better data polarize preferences over public insurance and often segment social insurance into smaller, more homogenous, and less redistributive pools, using cases studies of health and unemployment insurance and statistical analyses of life insurance, credit markets, and public opinion.
Alexis de Tocqueville’s political orientation has proven surprisingly difficult to characterize. During his own lifetime and political career, Tocqueville was a self-identified liberal and a figure on the French centrist-left. However, his political thought in the twentieth century has increasingly become associated with the conservative Right, especially in the United States. In this chapter, Richard Boyd identifies five major elements of Democracy in America that have strong affinities for central tenets of political conservatism. He further demonstrates how different figures on the conservative Right in the United States have drawn on these dimensions of Tocqueville’s political thought to bolster various strands of conservative thinking and policy. Whether a matter of foreign affairs, welfare reform, criticisms of the administrative state, affirmations of the centrality of religion to political life, or complaints about modernity and cultural decline, thinkers on the Right have found abundant intellectual resources in Democracy in America. As Boyd demonstrates, however, the Right has often deployed these arguments selectively and sometimes even at cross purposes in light of changing domestic and geopolitical circumstances.
Welfare states in Europe and around the world are experiencing growing numbers of people with limited or unclear rights to public welfare within their borders. These are refugees, undocumented migrants, EU-migrants and other groups of displaced or deprived people seeking a better life. In Sweden, this situation is trying the highly held principles of social and human rights, as charities are becoming an increasingly important complement to rights-based public welfare services. This article will show how eight different City Missions in Sweden are seeing a new role for themselves in an emerging social landscape. The findings will be analysed in terms of social and human rights, using the classic theories of T. H. Marshall as well as more recent research.
Welfare states allocate and redistribute resources across different groups. For the social legitimacy of welfare states, public support of redistributive processes and outcomes is crucial. An important aspect in this context is the deservingness or non-deservingness of benefit recipients from the perspective of those who both financially contribute to the system and potentially benefit from it. We invited a random sample of the German labour force to participate in an online-survey. Using a factorial survey experiment, we described fictitious unemployed persons with different attributes and asked survey participants on the just maximum benefit duration for each particular case. Judgements regarding just benefit durations vary along the criteria of reciprocity, control, attitude and need: Respondents grant longer unemployment benefits to older jobseekers, as well as to jobseekers who became involuntarily unemployed, had stable employment careers, have to care for the elderly or are sole earners in the household.
Even though social investment is highly popular, welfare state recalibration remains an uphill battle. When resources are scarce in times of austerity, welfare recalibration involves multidimensional trade-offs. Existing research primarily studied preferences toward individual policies or trade-offs in specific policy fields, failing to capture citizens’ overall social policy priorities. Using two novel survey experiments in three European countries, we show that citizens have clear social policy priorities: pensions and education enjoy a high, family policies a medium, and labor market policies a low priority. However, policy constituencies differ in their relative priorities. Our findings suggest that welfare state recalibration is difficult because trade-offs are unpopular, and distributive conflicts in mature welfare states are mainly about distributing resources to specific social groups.
This chapter argues that the origins of the worsening exploitation of American labor lie in the social division of labor, in particular the rise of the care economy – the greatest factor in the growth of low-wage work. The care economy was organized politically at a deeper institutional level than labor market changes of the last forty years, on which pro-labor scholars and activists have often focused. Since the post-war years, care work has been governed at a distance, its terms set by the public sector and its administration carried out privately. The growth of care work under such conditions pits workers and clients against each other, but simultaneously creates the possibility of solidarity.
In Germany, as in many other European countries, vast changes in the welfare regime – towards workfare – have taken place. As a central activating element of workfare, sanctions were introduced to take effect by temporarily increasing deprivation through benefit cuts. This paper provides first quantitative insights on the effect of first sanctions on deprivation and contributes to the recent debate on the (un)constitutionality of sanctions, which re-emerged after a verdict of the Federal Constitutional Court, criticizing the lack of knowledge about the effects of sanctions on those affected. We implement a difference-in-differences propensity score matching approach that addresses selection on observables and individual time constant unobserved differences. High data accuracy is ensured by combining the “Panel Labour Market and Social Security” (PASS) with administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency. The results illustrate a slightly higher yet statistically insignificant level of deprivation for first-sanctioned unemployment/basic income recipients compared to non-sanctioned recipients. The results hint in the direction that higher levels of deprivation are not what activates the sanctioned beneficiaries to reintegrate into the labour market. We discuss whether the results imply a significant deviation from the socio-cultural subsistence minimum of sanctioned recipients and a failure of the welfare state.
This chapter revisits the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and some thinkers who addressed social rights in its time, arguing that it is best understood historically as a charter for social citizenship. There is little evidence that the UDHR was intended – let alone noticed – as a call for supranational protection or a lodestar for non-governmental pressure. Rather, the UDHR was a template for a new kind of state, thus both national and governmental in its implications. This unprecedented new kind of state, birthed by the Second World War and ultimately consecrated around the world, afforded social protections and perhaps even egalitarian distribution. The restoration of the UDHR to its time poses new questions about how it was that human rights could indeed become at a later date so strongly associated with the supranational and non-governmental even as any commitment to distributive equality evaporated. Put in terms of a formula, the UDHR is an artefact of a pre-neo-liberal age that found itself celebrated in a neo-liberal one – but only once it was reinvented first.
This article conceptualizes recent momentum for basic income in the context of the legitimization crisis of neoliberalism and the dissolution of the ‘progressive neoliberal’ governing bloc that secured its hegemony for more than two decades. Through an assessment of the ideas of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, it argues that basic income is one of the few policy solutions in the mainstream discourse that improves social welfare and income security, while also remaining consistent with neoliberalism’s inner logic. Accordingly, it holds the potential to temporarily stabilize neoliberalism’s political crisis by offering a consensus issue around which a new centrist coalition could emerge. Although much of the basic income literature has focused on grassroots coalitions and synergies between left and right, it has largely overlooked the emergence of the historical forces that have pushed it onto the mainstream policy agenda.
This article investigates the drivers of trade union choices in the social policy arena in the age of austerity. Against the background of a political economy literature mostly emphasising trade union support for their stronger constituency – i.e. the ‘insiders’ – the article shows the existence of mechanisms potentially inducing trade unions to broaden their demands. Empirically, the study rests on an in-depth comparative analysis of the political process inducing the two largest trade unions in Argentina and Italy, the CGT and the CGIL, to support ‘pro-outsider’ social policy actively. Besides the comparison of two different geographical areas – though not so different in terms of original welfare state configuration – the main contribution of this article is outlining how the combination of dwindling organizational resources and growing competition from social movements and/or new radical unions leads traditionally insider-oriented unions to reach out to new constituencies and advocate expanded redistributive demands.
When governments acquire third-party social welfare services (SWS), they create institutions of acquisition. The rules and practices that governments adopt define who is able to participate, on what basis, and how prices are determined. This paper conceptualizes the institutions of SWS acquisition, their variations, and implications, in order to contribute to a deeper understanding of the link between contracting and nonprofit commercialisation. Institutions of SWS acquisition include rules of entry, participation, and assessment. Resulting acquisition regimes can be marketised to a greater or lesser extent, and this is influential through its effect on nonprofit competition. Drawing on interviews with public servants and nonprofit staff, the paper compares acquisition regimes for homelessness services in England, a regime that closely resembles a market, and Canada, a regime which is not marketised. In contrast to their non-marketised counterparts, this paper finds that marketised SWS acquisition regimes create incentives for participants to reduce prices by loss-leading or ratcheting down service quality.
A study of Boston’s racial wealth gap made headlines in late 2017 when it revealed that the median net worth of the city’s Black households was only $8, compared to $247,000 among white households (Hill 2017; Johnson 2017; Muñoz et al. 2015). The gap in Boston may have been starker than in the nation as a whole, but the latter was also striking. In 2016, the median net worth of Black and Hispanic households nationwide was $17,000 and $20,700, respectively, compared to $171,000 for whites (Dettling et al. 2017). The disparities amongst households with children were even more pronounced. In 2016, Black households with children held 1 percent of the wealth of non-Hispanic white households with children (Percheski and Gibson-Davis 2020: 1).
This chapter sets out how Elizabeth I’s extraordinary Poor Laws brought into being the world’s first collectivist-individualist society, a unique English political and moral achievement that mandated community support for orphans, widows, the infirm and sick, the old, the involuntary unemployed and single mothers and their children. It will show how this nurturing welfare system protected England from the scourge of famine – that other devastator of populations after plague – such that the English were free of large-scale famine more than 150 years earlier than the rest of Europe. It also helped power England’s exceptional economic growth, supporting a mobile workforce to develop secure in the knowledge that they would be supported if times were hard.
It details how these Poor Law provisions were misguidedly overturned in 1834 by the new, more exclusively individualist economics and utilitarianism of the nineteenth century before returning, over a century later, with the founding of the post-war Beveridge welfare state. This saw a collectivist-individualist balance restored in full all across society, a Golden Age of growth with a comprehensive welfare system funded by progressive taxation and leaders of enterprise incentivised to consider long-term returns alongside the welfare of their workforces and communities.
Global warming and some climate change policies pose additional social risks that necessitate novel responses from the welfare state. Eco-social policies have significant potential to address these challenges, but their wide-scale adoption will depend, among other factors, on public support. In the current article, we theorise how public opinion about eco-social policies is likely to be influenced by a set of contextual and individual-level factors, as well as the perceived welfare deservingness of the target groups. Alongside contributing to the emerging body of literature on eco-social policies, this theoretical framework could help policymakers to anticipate the social groups that will support or oppose eco-social policy agendas and how some of the contradictions could be reduced through policy design.
The expansion of social pensions in Latin America was part of a larger process aimed at extending protections to informal workers and other individuals not covered by social insurance. These reforms were enacted by governments of different colours, and varied considerably with regard to the scope of the new programmes. While previous comparative studies have privileged economic factors and electoral dynamics to explain these differences, this article extends these frameworks to incorporate the interplay between contentious and institutional politics. It uses a two-step qualitative comparative analysis to investigate the long-term effect of protests on reforms extending the coverage of social pensions under different constellations of political, economic and institutional conditions in 18 Latin American countries (2000-2011). The results show that protest was present in almost all configurations of expansion, but that its effect was contingent on the ideology of governments, the levels of political competition and the strength of unions.