Chapter

Restructuring the British Welfare State: Between Domestic Constraints and Global Imperatives

Martin Rhodes

in Welfare and Work in the Open Economy Volume II: Diverse Responses to Common Challenges in Twelve Countries

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780199240920
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199240922.003.0002
 Restructuring the British Welfare State: Between Domestic Constraints and Global Imperatives

Show Summary Details

Preview

In the UK, as in Australia and New Zealand, the ‘liberal’ post‐war welfare state was conceived as a minimal safety net under conditions in which full employment was to be ensured by (‘Keynesian’) macroeconomic policies. In the 1950s and 1960s, economic growth was constrained by stop–go policies trying to defend the pound as an international reserve currency in the face of inflationary wage pressures. After the dramatic failure of Labour economic policies in the crises of the 1970s, the (‘monetarist’) Conservative government of the 1980s succeeded in breaking the power of the unions and in stabilizing the currency at the expense of full employment, but did not fundamentally change the structure of the welfare state. After 1997, however, the ‘New Labour’ government set out to adjust the liberal welfare state to conditions in which government economic policies could no longer ensure full employment.

Keywords: Conservative; full employment; inflation; Keynesianism; Labour; liberal welfare state; macroeconomic policy; monetarism; unions; UK

Chapter.  21972 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.