1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: The Social Effects of Globalization

(The) Future of the Welfare State

  • Project from: 1994 to 1995


The purpose of the project was to provide an opportunity for exploring the political, economic and social dilemmas which arise when there is a public commitment within a market economy to ensuring that all citizens enjoy a "package" of basic entitlements, especially during a period of shrinking economic opportunities and global restructuring. Seven studies traced the origins and evolution of thinking on the welfare state in particular countries or regions; the social forces which stood behind the development of policy, as well as the basic characteristics of policy in each case; the broad transfer or redistributive implications of these arrangements and their financial cost; the major problems now afflicting the welfare state; and how these problems are related to developments at both national and global levels over the past two decades. Authors analyzed the situation in Australia and New Zealand, Continental Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan and Korea, Latin America, North America and Scandinavia.

This project was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In addition, the Danish National Institute of Social Research and the Foreign Ministry of Denmark co-sponsored a seminar, held during the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, in March 1995, titled "The Future of the Welfare State in Global Perspective: An International Debate".