Disciplinary Perspectives

Einar Øverbye

in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579396
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Disciplinary Perspectives

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This article explains how different aspects of the welfare state link up with core debates within seven disciplines. A brief presentation of some major strands in the disciplinary debates on the welfare state is provided, starting out with the three classical social science disciplines: sociology, economics, and political science. The article then describes social policy, social administration, social work, and law (legal studies). In general, this article offers a rough guide to disciplinary debates on the welfare state, including a brief review of crossovers and antagonisms between disciplines. Studying something from a disciplinary perspective is often necessary to add depth to a study. An awareness of alternative disciplinary approaches is helpful if one is to come to grips with more than the trunk, hide, or foot of the amorphous, multifaceted, and normatively ambiguous animal representing the welfare state.

Keywords: welfare state; sociology; economics; political science; social policy; social administration; social work; legal studies

Article.  6575 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Public Policy

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