Ann Shola Orloff

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


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The comparative study of gender and welfare states has been favoured by the occurrence of two intellectual ‘big bangs’ — gender studies and regime analysis. ‘Gender’ represents the key theoretical and conceptual innovation of feminist scholarship, including that focused on systems of social provision and regulation. Two clusters of empirical research are addressed, which show the mutual influence of gender relations and systems of social provision and regulation, and which have been the foci of a considerable amount of feminist research. The article specifically reviews work on welfare states and the gendered division of labour, employment, and caring labour (paid and unpaid). It also evaluates the politics of gendered welfare states, including regimes, partisanship, political agency, and citizenship. Gendered insights — particularly around power and politics — radicalize and transform the comparative study of welfare states.

Keywords: gender; welfare states; feminist research; employment; caring labour; partisanship; political agency; gendered insights

Article.  6022 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Theory

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