Duane Swank

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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This article provides a synopsis of the central theoretical arguments that link economic globalization (i.e. international market integration) to welfare state change. It concentrates on empirical work that is explicitly comparative and quantitative in nature. In addition, it seeks breadth by covering a range of theories that link globalization to welfare state change, and by employing scholarly work on the first (i.e. pre-World War I) wave of globalization and early welfare states as well as research on both contemporary developed and developing political economies. After an overview of the central theoretical issues and an assessment of empirical research, the article then emphasizes a number of promising trends in the literature that should improve understanding of the consequences of globalization for national systems of social protection. Extant research gives significant insights into the limited, contingent, and null effects of economic globalization on the welfare state.

Keywords: economic globalization; international market integration; welfare state; World War I; social protection; political economies; national systems

Article.  5377 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; International Relations

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