Book

Why Welfare States Persist

Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780226075839
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226075952 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226075952.001.0001
Why Welfare States Persist

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With accumulating evidence casting doubt on forecasts of imminent decline in welfare states, some recent scholarship has instead focused on a different scenario: the prospects for cross-national “convergence.” Predictions that welfare states are becoming more similar over time, perhaps even converging on a common model of public provision, have long been present in the welfare state literature. This prediction, for example, was implicit in the logic of industrialism's focus on developmental processes that were assumed to operate similarly within industrial capitalism. This chapter examines whether welfare states have become more similar in the contemporary historical era, factors that generate convergence pressures, and factors that promote dissimilarity and divergence. It focuses on the historical period from 1980 through 2001 and uses the more limited social security transfers measure for the earlier period from 1960 through 1980. The chapter first considers various perspectives on welfare state convergence, including the new modernization thesis and the emergence of the European Union.

Keywords: welfare state; convergence; public provision; industrialism; capitalism; European Union; modernization; social security transfers

Book.  207 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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Table of Contents

Reaching for Mass Opinion in Why Welfare States Persist

Chapter

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The Question of Convergence in Why Welfare States Persist

Chapter

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