A Qualitative Study on the Recent Development Process of Advanced Capitalist Welfare States
According to the findings of the quantitative study, domestic political and economic factors appear to be the principal driving forces behind the contemporary welfare state. Globalization, by contrast, seems to play only a subordinate role. Although global economic forces tend to exert significant positive, negative, and curvilinear effects on public social spending activities, the negative relationship – as suggested by the competitiveness view – slightly predominates. Building on these results, Chapter 9 conducts a set of qualitative analyses in order to examine the recent development process of advanced capitalist welfare states in more detail. The focus of the first part (Chapter 9.1) is laid on the revenue side of the welfare state. The author hereby undertakes a comparative exploration of how different types of welfare state revenue flows have evolved in the 17 advanced capitalist welfare states during the period 1975-2005. Special emphasis is hereby placed on Sweden for the following two reasons: Firstly, the country is regarded as the prototype of the modern welfare state (Thakur et al., 2003, p. 1). Secondly, it is the principal country of the social democratic welfare state cluster, the latter having by far experienced the most dramatic expansion and retrenchment of welfare effort in recent decades (see Figure 8 to 11 in Chapter 8.1). If tax competition is ongoing and harming advanced capitalist welfare states as suggested by the competitiveness view, these negative effects are likely to be found in the high-tax Nordic countries.
KeywordsWelfare State Social Security Contribution Capital Transfer Active Labor Market Program Social Democratic Welfare State
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