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Restructuring the Welfare State

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Restructuring the Welfare State

Globalization and Social Policy Reform in Finland and Sweden

9781843761242 Edward Elgar Publishing
Virpi Timonen, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Publication Date: August 2003 ISBN: 978 1 84376 124 2 Extent: 232 pp
What happens to extensive and generous welfare states when they are faced with serious economic crisis and the effects of globalization? This thorough analysis of the processes of social policy restructuring in two Nordic welfare states endeavours to answer this and other questions related to their survival in a world of intensifying global competition.

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What happens to extensive and generous welfare states when they are faced with serious economic crisis and the effects of globalization? This thorough analysis of the processes of social policy restructuring in two Nordic welfare states endeavours to answer this and other questions related to their survival in a world of intensifying global competition.

Virpi Timonen investigates both the changes that have taken place in central social policies in the areas of pensions, unemployment policies, social and health services, and the political and structural reasons for the pattern of policy change that emerged. A critical evaluation of the roles of globalization, political mechanisms and power relationships in shaping these social policies in Finland and Sweden is also featured.

Welfare state specialists and those seeking to understand welfare states as a central constituent of politics in Nordic countries will find Restructuring the Welfare State to be of great interest. The book will also appeal to academics and researchers in the fields of social policy and comparative politics, as well as public and social policy analysts in international organizations such as the OECD and the World Bank.
Critical Acclaim
‘Timonen adheres to a style of writing that is organized, rational, and straightforward. This book offers new insight into the realm of welfare reform from which even scholars new to the field of comparative social welfare could derive great benefit.’
– Allison Kidder, New Global Development: Journal of International and Comparative Social Welfare

‘By documenting developments in [Finland and Sweden] in great detail, the author offers useful insights into social policy in the region and shows that the simplistic way many social policy writers have blamed globalization for welfare state retrenchment needs to be reconsidered and refined. The book’s impressive use of theory is also highly commended. Many readers will be impressed by the way the author uses theory to test popular statements about the changes in social policy that have taken place in recent times.’
– Social Development Issues
Contents
Contents: 1. The Crisis of the Welfare State – Yet Again 2. Theories of Welfare State Development and Restructuring 3. Globalization, Europeanization, or Endogenous Pressures: What Triggered Welfare State Restructuring? 4. Political Parties and Interest Groups 5. Power Resources at Work: Diversification of Unemployment Benefits in Finland and Sweden 6. Restructuring of Public Health and Social Services: Movement Away from the Service State? 7. Means-Tested Benefits and Basic Security: Are Institutional Welfare States Becoming Less Universalist and More Residual? 8. Conclusion: In Defence of the Welfare State Bibliography Index
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