Mark Priestley

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 is concerned with understanding the responses of modern welfare states to disability and disabled people. The three key factors that are significant to the underlying structural dependency of disabled people, and the challenge for welfare states are presented. There is great variation in national systems of welfare provision but a number of common tensions and challenges can be identified. Some of the key commonalities and differences between countries in meeting these core challenges are illustrated. The examples focus in particular on developments in European countries. Recent labour and welfare policy developments in European countries include a shift away from a perception of total work disability (or incapacity) towards work ability. The international policy agenda has been re-framed, both by rights-based claims from the disabled people's movement and the proliferation of new national laws targeting disability discrimination to represent the central policy challenge as one of human rights.

Keywords: disability; disabled people; modern welfare states; welfare policy; European countries; international policy; human rights

Article.  6309 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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