Transformation of the Welfare State

Transformation of the Welfare State : The Silent Surrender of Public Responsibility

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Since the early 1970s, debate has raged over the "crisis of the welfare state." As the United States successfully exported its bootstrap brand of capitalism and an ever-broadening range of public activity came to be viewed through the prism of profit and loss, suspicion of social welfare policies increased worldwide. Welfare was no longer a means to remedy the inherent and inescapable flaws of capitalism, but rather was recast as part of the very problem it was designed to solve. At the same time, the glaring systemic deficiencies of extant welfare systems - and the psychological toll of welfare dependency - became increasingly apparent, even to welfare's supporters. How much has really changed in the world of welfare? A great deal, according to Neil Gilbert, one of our most deeply engaged and thoughtful analysts of social welfare policy. In this panoramic inquiry, Gilbert spans the globe to assess, in provocative yet dispassionate fashion, what welfare looks like in a free market world. From Sweden to New Zealand, in Germany and England and throughout Europe, Gilbert finds a fundamental transformation in the welfare state - a turn away from broad-based entitlements and automatic benefits to a new, "enabling" approach defined by policies that encourage private activity and selective support based on income and behavior. He provides tangible evidence of how these new systems promote work and responsibility over protection and how they thicken the glue of civil society by diluting the pervasive role of government. Translating the new language of solidarity, activation, and social inclusion that has accompanied these changes, Gilbert reveals surprisingly broad-based support for the shifts. Traditional welfare supporters on the Left are implementing reforms long associated with the policy agenda of the Right. Gilbert Gilbert concludes with policy recommendations intended to temper the harder, unforgiving edges of this new social protection mentality with pragmatic assistance for those left behind. Illuminating a fundamental shift in the design of modern welfare systems, this landmark work is a must-read for anyone concerned with social policy more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 164.1 x 240.3 x 23.1mm | 485.35g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195140745
  • 9780195140743

Table of contents

Part I Currents of Change: New Course or Marginal Adjustment; Toward the Enabling State. Part II Lines Of Convergence: Protection to Inclusion - Promoting Work, Apotheosis of Work; State to Market - Subsidizing Private Activity; Universal To Selective - Targeting Benefits; Citizenship to Membership - Restoring Solidarity?. Part III Social Implications: The Triumph of Capitalism and Its more

Review quote

"An age of watersheds is the age for grand syntheses: New politics of the welfare state, three worlds of welfare capitalism, transformation of the welfare state, limits to globalization. Neil Gilbert's 'enabling state' contributes superbly to this OECD-wide discussion. Promoting work, subsidizing private activity as well as share-holder claims on private markets, and targeting benefits - this is Gilbert's common Western core of the new market-oriented social policies." --Stephan Leibfried, Professor of Social Policy, University of Bremen, Germanyshow more

About Neil Gilbert

Neil Gilbert is Chernin Professor of Social Welfare and Social Service at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include: The Enabling State: Modern Welfare Capitalism in America and, most recently, Welfare Justice: Restoring Social more

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