Synopses & Reviews
Written during an ongoing period of global economic crisis, The Welfare State as a Crisis Manager examines the practice and potential of using social policy to cope with crises. Through an in-depth analysis of social policy reactions in the wake of international economic shocks in four different welfare states, over a 40-year period, the book reveals the ways in which expansion and retrenchment are shaped by domestic politics and existing welfare state institutions. Moreover, the study addresses the kind of policy change triggered by economic crisis. In contrast to conventional wisdom and previous scholarship, reactions tend to be characterised by incrementalism and 'crisis routines' rather than fundamental deviations from earlier policy patterns. For the first time, the study of domestic political dynamics following crisis is systematically embedded in the transnational policy debate, linking the Comparative Welfare State literature with scholarship on Global Social Policy.
"The great virtue of this book is that it brings together good empirical evidence and analysis of how welfare states respond to and manage crises over time, from a variety of settings." - Peter Taylor-Gooby, Professor of Social Policy, University of Kent, UK
The effects of the 2008 financial crisis were ameliorated by large-scale social policy interventions, which both helped limit the depth and duration of the crisis and softened its worst effects on citizens. Yet in the wake of the crisis, those very same social policies and the welfare state they support have come under attack.
There is, however, reason to be optimistic, argue the contributors to Social Policy in Times of Austerity. Bringing together leading scholars engaged in the debate over austerity and the future of the welfare state, the book traces the strong currents of resistance to austerity that continue to thrive within organizations, governments, and the citizenry at large.
About the Author
Peter Starke is a Political Scientist at the University of Bremen, Germany. Recent publications include Radical Welfare State Retrenchment: A Comparative Analysis.
Alexandra Kaasch is a Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Sheffield, UK. Previously she held a post-doctoral research position at the University of Bremen, Germany.
Franca van Hooren is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Bremen, Germany. She obtained her PhD from the European University Institute, Italy.
Table of Contents
Varieties of austerity: welfare reform in challenging times ~ Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving
The Politics of Austerity ~ Michael Hill
Neo-Liberalism, Finance-Dominated Accumulation, and the Cultural Political Economy of Austerity ~ Bob Jessop
The economics of austerity Stephen Mcbride
The struggle over austerity ~ Frances Fox-Piven and Lorraine Minnite
Alternatives to Austerity ~ Dexter Whitfield and John Spoehr
Conclusion: Welfare in the ‘new’ age of austerity ~ Kevin Farnsworth and Zoë Irving