Risk and the welfare state

Taylor-Gooby, Peter F. and Dean, Hartley and Munro, Moira and Parker, Gillian (1999) Risk and the welfare state. British Journal of Sociology, 50 (2). pp. 177-194. ISSN 0007-1315. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4446.1999.00177.x

Abstract

The British welfare state developed as a state-centred response to the problem of handling the risks encountered in a typical life-course. The influential work of Giddens and others implies that the traditional welfare state is under attack from two directions: a changing international politico-economic environment limits the freedom of national governments to pursue independent policies involving relatively high taxation to finance social spending. At the same time, changes in the experience of risk and declining confidence in the expertise of welfare state planners and professionals undermine support for state-centred solutions. This approach fails to acknowledge that available non-state services are often inadequate to meet many everyday life risks and that the authority of private sector advisers, insurers and professionals is also increasingly open to question. This article discusses whether people reject welfare state solutions to problems of risk in the context of research on the perceptions and behaviour of people buying or selling their homes, considering provision for long-term care needs and defrauding social security carried out by the ESRC's Economic Beliefs and Behaviour programme. Individual responses endorse the continued provision of state welfare in order to meet unprovided risks alongside disenchantment with the record of both state and private professionals and planners and awareness that state retrenchment requires greater individual responsibility for meeting one's own needs. The theory of risk society requires development to recognize that citizens are not necessarily alienated from state welfare.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: risk; welfare state; housing; long-term care; benefit fraud
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: F.D. Zabet
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2009 18:58
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 15:15
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/16678 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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