Culture And Welfare State: Values and Social Policy in by Wim Van Oorschot, Michael Opielka, Birgit Pfau-Effinger

By Wim Van Oorschot, Michael Opielka, Birgit Pfau-Effinger

Tradition and Welfare kingdom offers comparative experiences at the interaction among cultural components and welfare rules. beginning with an research of the ancient and cultural foundations of Western eu welfare states, mirrored within the competing ideologies of liberalism, conservatism and socialism, the publication is going directly to evaluate the Western eu welfare version to these in North the United States, Asia and imperative and jap Europe. accomplished and fascinating, this quantity examines not just the relationships among cultural swap and welfare restructuring, taking empirical facts from coverage reforms in modern Europe, but in addition the preferred legitimacy of welfare, focusing relatively at the underlying values, ideals and attitudes of individuals in eu nations. This publication might be of serious curiosity to sociologists and political scientists, in addition to social coverage specialists attracted to a cultural standpoint at the welfare nation.

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Hence, there has been no family policy reform in Switzerland. g. Pierson, 2001). However, the impact of a specific cultural change not only depends on the relative strength of such mechanisms, but also on other cultural elements in the welfare arrangement. Using the concept of ‘activation culture’ as an example, Bjørn Hvinden demonstrates that the welfare values of policy elites are by no means stable over time, and their impact on actual reform may depend on the degree to which they deviate from the values of other social actors.

Differences across welfare states reflect the political choices made in different countries in response to the problems of reconciling production and distribution and the public and private spheres. These choices are manifested not only in differences in the scope and 29 30 Cultural foundations of the welfare state quality of social rights but in the divisions of responsibility for the provision of benefits and services between the state, the market and the family. This chapter is concerned with the role of ideas in social policy development but does not assume that ideas or the associated discourse2 are independent of social and economic context or are the sole explanatory variable in social policy development and change.

Both may alter and erode the cultural and social integration of a welfare arrangement, as a result of which the constellation may change character and be transformed (see also Pfau-Effinger, 2005). However true this may be in a general sense little is known about the specific conditions under which such change can happen. The aim of the chapters in this part of the book is to contribute to such knowledge. Starting with an extended theoretical discussion of the question whether, and under what circumstances, cultural change can be a cause of ‘pathbreaking’ change, Birgit Pfau-Effinger in her chapter analyses empirically how in Germany and Austria changes in family values have led to related reforms and path departure in family policies, while this has not been the case in Switzerland, despite the fact that family values did change among the Swiss population in the same way, and despite large similarities in the work and care patterns among the three populations.

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