Nowadays every major industrialized state has established some form of welfare state, although the precise design differs considerably amongst countries. However, the basic idea common to all forms is that the state redistributes some of the resources of the market economy in order to achieve certain desired social outcomes such as higher equality or lower levels of poverty.
There are three basic forms of welfare states (Esping-Andersen, 1990). First, there is the liberal Anglo-Saxon regime which originates in the Beveridge model developed in the UK from 1945. The United States' welfare system is a good example of it. It is a residual system, which means that welfare is only intended for the poor as a safety net. Second, there is the Corporatist Central Europe regime, which exists in countries such as Germany.
It is based on the Bismarck model of the Sozialstaat (social state) developed by Otto von Bismarck in Germany in the 1880s. This model constituted the first form of social insurance so far and involved contributions from workers to finance their own benefits, such as old age pensions and accident insurance. It is work-focused: people who do not work might be excluded from some benefits, and those with the highest incomes are similarly not entitled to all benefits. Finally, there is the social-democratic regime, which can be found in many Scandinavian countries.
[...] Europeanization: similar development of the welfare-states vs. Impact of EU policies? The convergence thesis The “convergence thesis” (Marshall 1998) conveys the idea that the modernization and the internationalization after the second world war have forced countries to adopt the same kind of policies. Through the example of pension politics, we saw that European countries follow the same trend of development for regarding their national welfare states. As European countries know the same context of austerity, neoliberal questions on the legitimacy of welfare states' levels, ageing population and post-industrial social change, it seems logical that they adopt the same policies, on the retrenchments as well as on the expansive elements. [...]
[...] The United States' welfare system is a good example of it. It is a residual system, which means that welfare is only intended for the poor as a safety net. Second, there is the Corporatist Central Europe regime, which exists in countries such as Germany. It is based on the Bismarck model of the Sozialstaat (social state) developed by Otto von Bismarck in Germany in the 1880s. This model constituted the first form of social insurance so far and involved contributions from workers to finance their own benefits, such as old age pensions and accident insurance. [...]
[...] This statement is valid for all European countries. Post-industrialism and new values Welfare states are challenged by unemployment due to the shift from fordism to toyotism, mode of production is excluding lots of non-qualified workers. Welfare states also have to justify the inactivity traps: redistributing income causes disincentives to work (Rhodes & Ferrera 2000; 47). Reforms have to be carried out, as the current institutions were designed during the fordist period of sustained economic growth and are not economically viable, especially during a long recession period. [...]
[...] It created direct consequences for the national welfare states through an incentive to administrative structural change in some countries. The Nordic countries that did not have any real regional level rather mostly municipalities or provinces, or countries that did not have a clear division in regions had to change. They had to create this level of activity and therefore it changed competences attributed to the different levels: who will handle the employment or the territorial management policies? Who will fund the activities? [...]
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