What Is the Evidence of Welfare State Retrenchment ?

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What is the evidence of welfare state retrenchment in western welfare states?

1. Introduction

1. Crisis of Welfare State

At the end of the 1970’s, the welfare state moved into crisis (OECD, 1981; Rosanvallon, 1981). As the period of high economic growth ended and stagflation appeared, governments couldn’t afford the social expenditure which had been expanded before. Fiscal deficit appeared and unemployment rate started to increase with economic depression.

The idea shared by neo-Marxists and neoliberals was that the redistributive logic of the welfare state was contradicted by the logic of capitalism and that the welfare activities of the state would have to be rolled back or reconfigured so as to conform to the needs of capitalism.[1]

2. What does Welfare State Retrenchment mean?

Similar to the neo-Marxists’ and neoliberals’ insistence, since the economic crisis of the mid-70s, governments have seemed concerned above all to reduce spending levels and implement retrenchment policies.[2]

Retrenchment is defined "to include policy changes that either cut social expenditure, restructure welfare state programs to conform more closely to the residual welfare state model, or alter the political environment in ways that enhance the probability of such outcomes in the future".[3]

A number of comparative studies on welfare-state development have used the size of social expenditures to the GDP, "the welfare state effort" indictor, as their central dependent variable. However, while this indicator is relevant, as is widely recognized, it has some limits for explanation of the welfare state effort.

2. Has ‘Welfare State Retrenchment’ happened?

As noted above, the expenditure-based welfare-state effort indicator used in most studies of retrenchment is associated with serious problems, which are aggravated in the context of retrenchment. For example, rising unemployment levels have tended to raise



References: 조영훈. (2000). “복지국가의 몰락?: 스웨덴 사례 분석을 통한 세계화론의 복지국가 쇠퇴론 검토”. 한국사회학, 제 34집, pp929-949. Bruno Palier. (2004). “French Welfare Reform in Comparative Perspective”. Revue française de sociologie, Vol. 45, Supplement: An Annual English Selection, pp. 97-124. Fiona Ross. (2000). “Framing Welfare Reform in Affluent Societies: Rendering Restructuring More Palatable?”. Journal of Public Policy, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 169-193. Gunther M. Hega. (1996).. “Book Review”. The Journal of Politics, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 917-920. Jacob S. Hacker. (2004). “Privatizing Risk without Privatizing the Welfare State: The Hidden Politics of Social Policy Retrenchment in the United States”. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 98, No. 2, pp. 243-260. Jonas Edlund. (2006). “Trust in the Capability of the Welfare State and General Welfare State Support: Sweden 1997-2002”. Michael K. Brown. (1988). “Remaking the Welfare State: Retrenchment and Social Policy in America and Europe”. Acta Sociologica, Vol. 49, No. 4 (Dec., 2006), pp. 395-417. Paul Pierson. (1994). “Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment”. Richard Clayton and Jonas Pontusson. (1998). “Welfare-State Retrenchment Revisited: Entitlement Cuts, Public Sector Restructuring, and Inegalitarian Trends in Advanced Capitalist Societies”. Samuel H. Beer. (1998). “Welfare Reform: Revolution or Retrenchment?”. Publius, Vol. 28, No. 3, Welfare Reform in the United States: A Race to the Bottom?, pp. 9-15. Walter Korpi. (2003). “Welfare-State Regress in Western Europe: Politics, Institutions, Globalization, and Europeanization”. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 29, pp. 589-609. [2] Bruno Palier. (2004). “French Welfare Reform in Comparative Perspective”. [3] Paul Pierson. (1994). “Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment”. [4] Walter Korpi, Joakim Palme. (2003). “New Politics and Class Politics in the Context of Austerity and Globalization: Welfare State Regress in 18 Countries, 1975-95”. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 97, No. 3, pp. 425-446. [5] The concept of social citizenship goes back to T. H. Marshall (1950). The data archive within The Social Citizenship Indicator Program(SCIP) is under construction at the Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University [6][7] Walter Korpi, Joakim Palme. (2003). “New Politics and Class Politics in the Context of Austerity and Globalization: Welfare State Regress in 18 Countries, 1975-95”. The American Political Science Review, Vol. 97, No. 3, pp. 425-446. hƒ |?o([pic] hƒ |?h²akhƒ |?hƒ | hƒ |o([pic]hsž hsžo([pic] h{h-o([pic] hoW조영훈. (2000). “복지국가의 몰락?: 스웨덴 사례 분석을 통한 세계화론의 복지국가 쇠퇴론 검토”. 한국사회학, 제 34집, pp929-949. [9] Bruno Palier. (1988). “French Welfare Reform in Comparative Perspective”. Revue française de sociologie, Vol. 45, Supplement: An Annual English Selection, pp. 97-124.

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