Just Institutions Matter : The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State
In this book Bo Rothstein seeks to defend the universal welfare state against a number of important criticisms which it has faced in recent years. He combines genuine philosophical analysis of normative issues concerning what the state ought to do with empirical political scientific research in public policy examining what the state can do. Issues discussed include the relationship between welfare state and civil society, the privatization of social services, and changing values within society. His analysis centres around the importance of political institutions as both normative and empirical entities, and Rothstein argues that the choice of such institutions at certain formative moments in a country's history is what determines the political support for different types of social policy. He thus explains the great variation among contemporary welfare states in terms of differing moral and political logics which have been set in motion by the deliberate choices of political institutions. The book is an important contribution to both philosophical and political debates about the future of the welfare state.
- Electronic book text
- 11 May 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 14 tables
'Just Institutions Matter should be a frequently cited work among those interested in comparative politics and policy and the general issue of policy evaluation. Rothstein is eloquent in his argument for universalistic principles to guide social welfare policy, and he is very creative and analytically agile in providing a language and framework for connecting values and policy.' American Polticial Science Review 'Overall, the book makes the best case for universal social policy I have seen; it is also an insightful analysis of the politics of universal welfare states ... this is an excellent book and can be highly recommended to scholars of social welfare policy, Scandinavia, and comparative politics. It is appropriate for advanced courses in the areas of social theory, public policy, and European and comparative politics.' American Journal of Sociology
Table of contents
1. Speculation and discipline; 2. The universal welfare state and the question of individual autonomy; 3. Is governance possible?; 4. What can the state do? An analytical model; 5. Just institutions matter; 6. The political and moral logic of the universal welfare state; 7. Putting history in order; 8. The autonomous citizen and the future of the universal welfare policy; 9. Toward a constructive theory of public policy; Bibliography; Index.