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The New Politics of the Welfare State$
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Paul Pierson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198297564.001.0001

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Welfare State and Production Regimes in the Era of Retrenchment

Welfare State and Production Regimes in the Era of Retrenchment

(p.107) 4 Welfare State and Production Regimes in the Era of Retrenchment
The New Politics of the Welfare State

Evelyne Huber

John D. Stephens

Oxford University Press

This is the first of three chapters on the role of economic interests, and of systems for representing those interests, in the politics of welfare state reform. They explore the linkages between national welfare states and national economies, and examine the processes through which economic actors press their interests on policy makers. Huber and Stephens explore at length the linkages between different types of welfare states and different production regimes, and demonstrate that there are in fact quite different configurations within the universe of affluent democracies, with particular types of welfare states strongly associated with distinct systems of economic organization. Their analysis proceeds in three steps: first, a conceptualization is provided of welfare state and production regimes, with an analysis of their performance up to the 1980s; second, an analysis is made of pressures on these regimes and the resulting welfare state retrenchments since the 1980s; and third, an assessment is made of possible future paths to adaptation, recovery, and consolidation.

Keywords:   affluent democracies, contemporary welfare state, economic interests, economic organization, national economy, production regimes, welfare state, welfare state reform, welfare state retrenchment

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