Welfare States in International Relations

Marjo Koivisto

in Normative State Power in International Relations

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652792
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745270 | DOI:
Welfare States in International Relations

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This chapter follows John Ruggie’s work in contesting the common IR assumption collapsing very different forms of state power into one. It distinguishes the welfare state form as a separate state type from absolutist and constitutional states by drawing on historical sociology. When looked at through a historical lens, state power in the welfare state form does not consist merely in societal pacts over redistributive programs. The outputs of state power were indeed fundamentally different in Europe in historical comparison during these redistributive programmes’ ‘golden years’ of 1945-1973. But against pluralist, neo-marxist, and industrialist theories this chapter used the institutionalist theory developed to show the force of social institutions of state power in the consolidation and sustaining of welfare states. It focused on institutions of international politics of state building in particular. The contestation over nationalist and internationalist politics about the state of the late-19th century resulted in the consolidation of the first welfare states around the 1870s. Different organisational compromises (commonly, social pacts such as corporatism) to the politics of nationalism and internationalism characterise emerging European welfare states during this period, and contribute to the restructuring of the organisational architecture of absolutist and constitutional state power in world politics.

Keywords: welfare state; industrialism; markets; nationalism; internationalism

Chapter.  13850 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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