What Is the Evidence of Welfare State Retrenchment ?

1457 words 6 pages
What is the evidence of welfare state retrenchment in western welfare states?

1. Introduction

1. Crisis of Welfare State

At the end of the 1970’s, the welfare state moved into crisis (OECD, 1981; Rosanvallon, 1981). As the period of high economic growth ended and stagflation appeared, governments couldn’t afford the social expenditure which had been expanded before. Fiscal deficit appeared and unemployment rate started to increase with economic depression.

The idea shared by neo-Marxists and neoliberals was that the redistributive logic of the welfare state was contradicted by the logic of capitalism and that the welfare activities of the state would have to be rolled back or reconfigured so as to conform to the
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