Europe is facing major changes at the beginning of the 21st century. Many consider the 19th century as savage industrialization's one. Liberalism largely evolved in the 20th century as evidenced by the fantastic pace of growth of welfare state in many countries in the 1960s and the 1970s. Indeed, in the period following the Second World War, providing welfare to citizens became a fundamental feature of western statehood. Immediately after the war, a new social spirit dominated Europe and affected all social classes. This was largely due to the sense of purpose that developed during the war and a revulsion against the irresponsible, decadent and depression-ridden interwar period. Therefore, social expenditures increased rapidly and traditional relief systems that provided assistance only to the most needy of populations were transformed into comprehensive systems of universal benefits through the welfare state. Marshall, writing in the 1950's, was the first to understand this was an inevitable step in the natural progression of states' relations to their citizens.
[...] Bibliography Books: Ferréol, Gilles; Sociologie, Cours, Méthodes, Applications; Bréal 2004 Esping Andersen, Gosta; The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism; Polity Press 1990 Esping Andersen, Gosta; Why we Need a New Welfare State; Oxford University Press Taylor-Gooby, Peter; Ideas and Welfare State Reform in Western Europe; Palgrave MacMillan 2005 Armingeon, Klaus and Bonoli, Giuliano; The Politics of Post-Industrial Welfare States, Adapting post-war social policies to new social risks; Routledge 2006 Katsaros, Thomas; The Development of The Welfare State in The Western World; University Press of America 1995 Articles: Kus, Basak; Neoliberalism, Institutional Change and the Welfare State: The Case of Britain and France; International Journal of Comparative Sociology; [...]
[...] Esping-Andersen presents in his major work combined scores of de-commodification for the three most important social-welfare programs, it is to say pensions, sickness, and unemployment cash benefits. These scores summarize an array of variables that illustrate the ease with which an average person can opt out of the market: the prohibitiveness of conditions for eligibility, the strength of in-built disincentives, and the degree to which benefits approximate normal expected earning-levels. The overall scores are weighted by the percent of the relevant probability that any given person will possess the right to a transfer. [...]
[...] Esping-Andersen adheres to the mainstream that is to say the political school in social welfare policy, highlighting the crucial impact of politics on social welfare policy, because welfare state is the child of politics and so, also will be its future'' (Esping-Andersen, 1996). In other words, from de-commodification ranking, he distinguishes three main countries clusters corresponding to three different political theoretical frameworks. The first model is the "liberal welfare state" in which “means-tested assistance, modest universal transfers, or modest social-insurance plans predominate”. [...]
[...] Welfare states are key institutions in the structuring of class and the social order.” Two main theories on the welfare state system as a system of stratification must here be mentioned. The first one considers basically that welfare states, even the most advanced, only reproduce the fundamental class division. This is of course the neo-Marxist one. On the other hand, the liberal myth argues that welfare states contribute to the decline of class division. In this regard, Esping Andersen's work is particularly interesting. [...]
[...] By studying welfare state as a system of stratification, Esping-Andersen demonstrates that social policy does not depends only on the level of social spending but that its effects and results vary, depending on the way wealth is distributed. II. Empirical validation despite some weaknesses Every theoretical framework needs to be empirically tested. This is the aim of this second part of the paper. One must keep in mind Esping- Andersen work was published in 1990. It is therefore very interesting nowadays to compare the three archetypes of the three ideal-types described by Esping-Andersen and to measure the relevance of his typology. [...]
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