Article

Religion

Kees Van Kersbergen and Philip Manow

in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579396
Published online September 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199579396.003.0018

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Religion

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This article offers an overview of how past research in comparative social science has dealt with the relationship between religion and the welfare state. It assesses theoretical approaches and the empirical findings, and provides an alternative view that generates questions for further research. It specifically concentrates on the experience in Europe and the settler colonies. The theoretical adjustments and refinements to account for Christian democracy's social policy influence produced its own set of anomalies. The article also presents the observation that Esping-Andersen's original three-regime heuristic puts much emphasis on a class-coalitional perspective. It is believed that Iversen and Soskice are perfectly right in stressing the significance of a coalition between lower and middle classes, yet by taking into account the impact of different cleavage structures in Nordic and continental countries on emerging party systems one can identify which type of middle class party entered into a coalition with social democracy.

Keywords: religion; welfare state; comparative social science; Europe; Christian democracy; social policy; Iversen; Soskice; Esping; Andersen

Article.  5867 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Behaviour

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