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How can the “crisis” of the Welfare States affect the policy of fight against poverty?

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  1. The crisis of financing: The unevenness between receipts and expenditures.
    1. Post-industrial evolutions: from an inadequate system of social protection.
    2. A tax and market based model.
  2. The crisis of efficiency: Cases of extreme poverty.
    1. The emergence of extreme poverty cases and the efficiency of welfare states.
    2. The implementation of new policies to cope with new challenges.
  3. Conclusion.

Since the end of the XVIIIth century, the disastrous consequences due to the Industrial Revolution and to ?savage capitalism? on working conditions has been underlined through the rising resentment of the working class. That is why, in order to avoid social implosion and to control proletarian revolutions, European successive governments have implemented couple of laws that entitled to wage earners social rights, financial help. Those measures, in return, provided them access to consumption, to leisure. This great enhancement in social and economic rights is perfectly embodied by the French social protection's system in 1945, which was, at that time, the most efficient and the most reassuring social coverage. However, the proletarian revolution seems today warded off and European Welfare States has to cope with new difficulties, such as mass unemployment and precariousness.

[...] Indeed, four profound transitions could be accused of hampering European Welfare States and of generating much of their current turmoil: slowdown in the growth of productivity associated with a massive shift from manufacturing to service employment; the gradual expansion, maturation and ?growth to limits? of governmental commitments; the demographic shift to an older population; and the restructuring of households and their relationship to the world of paid employment?. This changing world has led to large budgets deficit ( 57.6 billions francs in France). [...]


[...] All these policies promote new goals (poverty alleviation, universal access and tax funding for health care, activation) and involve new policy instruments (targeted social benefits instead of contributory benefits, financing by taxation, decision-making and management by the state, conditional employment programs, fully funded pensions). Hence, challenges seem to be taken up thanks to a change in Welfare States performance. In return, the winning back on their efficiency tends to offset the crisis of legitimacy insofar as, as Welfare States are able to fight against poverty, middle class are satisfied and stop claiming. [...]

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