Federalism and the Welfare State: New World and European Experiences (Hardback)
  • Federalism and the Welfare State: New World and European Experiences (Hardback)
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Federalism and the Welfare State: New World and European Experiences (Hardback)

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£82.00
Hardback 380 Pages / Published: 02/06/2005
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In this unique and provocative contribution to the literatures of political science and social policy, ten leading experts question prevailing views that federalism always inhibits the growth of social solidarity. Their comparative study of the evolution of political institutions and welfare states in the six oldest federal states - Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the US - reveals that federalism can facilitate and impede social policy development. Development is contingent on several time-dependent factors, including degree of democratization, type of federalism, and the stage of welfare state development and early distribution of social policy responsibility. The reciprocal nature of the federalism-social policy relationship also becomes apparent: the authors identify a set of important bypass structures within federal systems that have resulted from welfare state growth. In an era of retrenchment and unravelling unitary states, this study suggests that federalism may actually protect the welfare state, and welfare states may enhance national integration.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521847384
Number of pages: 380
Weight: 730 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Social science is at its best when it questions conceived wisdom with rigorous empirical analysis. This is exactly what Federalism and the Welfare State does, and it does it very well, indeed, showing that decentralized polities do not necessarily imply weaker welfare states. Written by some of the World's leading authorities, this book is a must for students of federalism and of the welfare state - an exceedingly important scientific contribution.' Goesta Esping-Andersen, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
'Federalism and the Welfare State is compulsory reading, not only for scholars who want to understand the history and dynamics of social programmes in existing federal states, but for policy makers who are struggling with the issue of social policy in the European Union - what role should the EU play in social policy? - and in decentralizing welfare states within Europe.' Frank Vandenbroucke, Minister of Employment and Pensions, Belgium
'Pioneers the study of federal institutional arrangements and social policy making within the broader field of study concerning territorality and welfare. ... can be read with profit not only by students of federalism and the welfare state, but by anyone interested in the wider themes of both territorial dimension of power and the social development of our advanced democracies.' European Journal of Social Security
"This is a wide-ranging and compelling collection of essays that is essential reading for comparative scholars of welfare states and federalism." - Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard University
"The volume edited by Obinger, Leibfried and Castles explores the historical development of welfare states in federations in order to "provide a basis for understanding how political decentralization and social policy are likely to interact in the future" (p. 2). In so doing, the volume addresses one of the major shortcomings of much the welfare-state literature: its artificial and limiting self-separation from broader studies of political institutions and comparative politics and political economy. Forcefully institutionalist in approach, the book demonstrates clearly that no policy area, whether social, tax or environmental policy, can be studied without systematic and careful attention to the broader political-economic context within which reform takes place. By grouping federal countries from all of the "worlds of welfare capitalism" popularized by Gosta Esping-Andersen and the cottage industry of welfare-state typologies that he helped to create,[2] the book shows that other elements of national political economies such as federalism may play a more important role in shaping the substance and dynamics of reform than, for example, the ideological foundations of the political system or the class configurations bequeathed by the process of industrialization. " - Mark I. Vail, Department of Political Science, Tulane University, H-NET

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