Cover image for The politics of social welfare : the collapse of the centre and the rise of the right
The politics of social welfare : the collapse of the centre and the rise of the right
Waddan, Alex.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cheltenham ; Brookfield, Vt. : Edward Elgar, 1997.
Physical Description:
vii, 204 p. ; 25 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.


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Call Number
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Book BILKUTUP0212637 HV95 .W32 1997 Central Campus Library

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The development of the welfare state has been a central concern across the political spectrum since the breakdown of the Keynesian economic model in the 1970s. The Politics of Social Welfare examines how the apparent consensus on social welfare issues was undermined at both practical and theoretical levels. Major elements of the welfare state did survive the downsizing projects of the 1980s, but there was a significant and lasting transformation of the environment in which social welfare matters were discussed. European social democrats and American liberals effectively conceded that the welfare system does not always serve the best interests of the poor. The focus on the American experience highlights the manner in which the right have been able to deride previous antipoverty efforts and exploit concepts such as 'the feminization of poverty', the 'underclass' the and 'dependency culture'. In contrast the centre and the left, inhibited by their perception of the politics of taxing and spending, have been unable to articulate their ideas in a similarly populist fashion.

Table of Contents

Part I The Crisis of the Welfare State
1 Introduction: The Crisis of the Welfare State and the Dilemma of Liberal Politics in Western Democracies
2 The Attack on the Welfare State Consensus
Part II The American Welfare State: From 'War on Poverty' to 'Reagan Revolution'
3 The Mixed Story of the War on Poverty
4 The Political Failure of Income Redistribution
5 The Rise of the New Right Social Welfare Agenda
6 The New Politics of Social Policy
Part III Anywhere Left to Go?
7 Continuing Dilemmas
8 Conclusion: Poverty as Dependency, the Changing Politics of Social Welfare