Ulike vilkar for ombygging av velferdsstaten

Taylor-Gooby, Peter F. (2001) Ulike vilkar for ombygging av velferdsstaten. In: Bay, A-H., ed. Virker Velferds-Staten? HoyskoleForlaget (Nordic Academic Press), , Kristiansand. ISBN 8276343406. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Social justice and the welfare state: constraints of social and economic change. This paper reviews welfare privatisation in Europe with special reference to the UK. The UK is the EU member country in which welfare privatisation has proceeded most rapidly, although pressures on the welfare state are not obviously any more severe here than elsewhere. Privatisation was certainly a central element in Mrs Thatcher's attack on state welfare, yet the policy seems to continue just as vigorously under the centre-left New Labour government. Part of the explanation for interest in privatisation lies in the context of economic globalisation and the technological shifts which reinforce demands for the redirection of state spending to areas where it will enhance economic competitiveness. However, these factors also affect other countries. We need to understand how they are able to exert such a distinctive impact on practical policy-making in the UK. One answer is to do with current cultural shifts, bound up with a transition to a Risk Society. This idea is influential in relation to the Third Way ideology of the current government. However, available evidence from studies of responses to concrete welfare policy changes in areas where privatisation is on the policy agenda indicates that the values of citizens do not endorse privatisation, as the theory implies. An alternative account is to be found in the distinctive UK constitutional and institutional policy-making framework, which allows the executive great autonomy in pursuing its policies, and the lack of a strong trade union influence. The paper contrasts policy-making in the UK with that in the dominant social insurance tradition of Europe, and particularly in France, in which trade unions, pension scheme members', citizens' and other groups have high legitimacy and considerable influence in relation to welfare, and are able to obstruct reform. The paper concludes that to understand why privatisation reforms are more rapid and successful in some countries, it is important to take into account the way policy is made, as well as considering arguments about the economic pressures on the welfare state and shifts in contemporary cultural values. UK experience is unusual, and is strongly influenced by the peculiarities of the national policy-making system. Elsewhere in the EU, private pensions and welfare provision will be much slower in emerging, and will require a substantial involvement from government in order to facilitate their development.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Social Policy
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2009 13:28
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 15:32
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/4955 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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