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Sydney 2005

Models of the Welfare State Formation

Marcel van der Linden

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Models of the Welfare State Formation in the Global Context
World History Congress in Sydney, 3-9 July, 2005
Specialised Theme Session 21

Outline | Papers

Organiser: Bo Stråth (bo.strath@iue.it)

Discussant: Dominique Marshall (dominiquemarshall@brookes.ac.uk)

The welfare state has during the last decade or so taken on the dimension of a declining or even disappearing category. The question of social responsibility and social solidarity is either seen as less relevant or from new points of departure. In this historical situation of deep transformation of the social responsibility attached to the state since the crisis of the 1930s, although the break-through was prepared much earlier through the debate on the social issue, it is of great interest to retrieve new dimensions of this development, and to discover the developments from new perspectives where the goal was not identified at the outset and where the traditional West European focus in the academic debate is broadened in a global perspective.

This aim of this theme is to study the emergence of a variety of welfare arrangements in various parts of the world and in various fields. "Welfare state formation" in the title should not be seen as a teleological development towards a predetermined goal. The papers should demonstrate the alternatives and the openness of these processes. "Formation" should rather be seen as a dynamic interaction between the state and the non-government sector and as the gradual and only ex-post discernable emergence of various arrangements where the question of legitimacy is important.

"Global context" in the title has a bearing in two directions: 1. the economic possibilities and constraints on increasingly global markets, and 2. models to emulate. It was also a pronounced ambition at the outset of this session that the global dimension should also be secured through a global cover in the selection of the paper, and as much as possible through a comparative approach in the papers. Confronting this ambition with the actual situation of research and interest in the history of organised welfare it has been necessary to take note of the fact that this is an issue of relevance in particular in Europe and Japan, which for historical reasons is not astonishing. Concerning the comparative ambition, this does, of course, not mean that the individual papers should aim at a global comparison, but that they should have a comparative reflection and ambition of putting the respective cases into a broader context. The global dimension should then appear through the selection of papers.

In methodological terms there will be a variety of approaches. However, in order to bridge the gap between social and cultural history the papers pay attention to the role of language and the conceptual and argumentative side of the transformation of welfare arrangements as well as to emerging praxis's. The papers take a broad approach in relation to the general outline, being preliminary and questioning, opening up for the big questions rather than mediating results from myopic fact-finding missions.


List of papers
  • Thomas Adam (adam@uta.edu), University of Texas, USA, Social Welfare between Private and State Responsibility (full paper, word-file, 163Kb)
  • Jenny Andersson (Jenny.Andersson@ekhist.uu.se), Investment or Cost? The Role of the Metaphor of Productive Social Policies in Welfare State Formation in Europe and the US 1850-2000 (full paper, word-file, 135Kb)
  • Michael Hall (mhall@that.com.br), University of Campinas, Brazil, Historical Welfare Arrangements in Brazil and Argentina in Comparison
  • John Murphy (john.murphy@rmit.edu.au), RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, The other welfare state: the non-government welfare sector in Victoria (full paper, word-file, 126Kb)
  • Hans-Jürgen Puhle (Puhle@soz.uni-frankfurt.de), Wolfgang-Amadeus-Goethe Universität, Frankfurt/Main, Welfare State Proliferation: Models, Mixes, and Transcontinental Learning Processes (full paper, word-file, 118Kb)
  • Minoru Takada (takada@econ.kiu.ac.jp), Kyushu Internat Univ, Japan, Mutuality and state welfare: a historical comparison between Britain and Japan (full paper, word-file, 119Kb)
  • Bela Tomka (tomka@hist.u-szeged.hu), University of Szeged, Hungary, Determinants of East Central European Welfare Systems: A Comparative Perspective, 1945-2000 (full paper, word-file, 155Kb)
  • Dominique Marshall, Department of History, Carleton University, Report of the Discussant, (word-file, 93Kb)