Chapter

Varieties of crisis

Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving

in Social Policy in Challenging Times

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428288
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305521 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428288.003.0001
Varieties of crisis

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The current financial crisis has major implications for welfare states. Governments face mounting levels of debt and fiscal black holes, companies face falling demand and limited liquidity to sustain or promote current liabilities, and individuals face lower wages and lower incomes. Yet the pain of the economic crisis is not evenly distributed: some nations clearly confront bigger problems than others and recovery from the crisis is also likely to be variable. The extent to which the economic crisis has hit nations and its long-term impact on social policies have been shaped and mediated by existing political institutions and dominant economic frameworks. Drawing upon the welfare state classification literature, this chapter seeks to make sense of how and why state form was important to creating the crisis and shaping its impact on welfare systems. It considers the extent to which the crisis might interrupt or transform dominant institutions, and reflects upon its medium- and long-term effects on social policies within different forms of welfare system.

Keywords: economic crisis; welfare systems; varieties of capitalism; debt; liquidity

Chapter.  11620 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Sociology

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