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The Making of Welfare States Post world war 2 settlements.

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Presentation on theme: "The Making of Welfare States Post world war 2 settlements."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Making of Welfare States Post world war 2 settlements

2 1940s: a revolution in social policy? Outline External appearance of convergence Review of post-war consolidation –UK –Sweden –France –Germany –USA Conclusions: convergence or divergence?

3 Convergence in European social policy All western governments commit to full employment Most plan for universal coverage e.g. –Sweden’s Social Welfare Committee Reports –1940: Nazi plans for universal benefits –1942: Beveridge Report –1944 Laroque Report Languages of ‘welfare state’ cohere


5 UK: Beveridge’s welfare state 1942 report implemented by post-war Labour government Assumptions: - NHS –Family Allowances –Full Employment Social insurance –Novelty: universality & unification –Tradition: flat-rate benefits supplemented by means tested assistance. NHS is the only ‘revolutionary’ change


7 Sweden: egalitarian universalism based on a strong state 1946: Citizenship pension –Contributions earnings-related: tax supplementation: flat-rate pension –No means testing (rural sector) –Covers middle classes –1960: ER supplement added 1946: sickness insurance compulsory Family policy as ‘social right’ –Free childbirth services/ maternity care –Job protection for pregnant women –Maintenance payments for single mothers Reinforcement of labour market policy (training)

8 France: social security splintered 1944: Laroque plans Beveridgean welfare 1946: Introduction of Securite Sociale –Covers pensions, health, family allowances –Health insurance supplemented by mutuelles –Separate health / pension schemes (solidarity) for: Farmers and peasants Artisans Civil servants Liberal professions Cadres (while collar + technical – private) – pensions only – Administered by elected ‘caisses’ at departmental level (75% trade union representatives) –No state contribution (joint funding)


10 Germany: de-Nazification & decentralisation Ley (1940) plan similar to Beveridge plan The Occupation –UK zone attempt to introduce Beveridge fails –Russian zone creates joint-funded social security –USA – post 1948, opposes USSR system SDP favours Beveridge model: German trade unions favour earnings-related scheme

11 Germany II: reviving Bismarck Lander manage health and pension insurance Earnings-related contributions and benefits White collar workers/ coal miners / civil servants retain own schemes Health, pensions and employment policies all separately administered (locally)


13 USA: into the Cold War New Deal precedent not followed up 1947 attempt to extend social security to cover health fails –President Truman sponsors creation health insurance –AMA: professional and commercial resistance –Association of health insurance with communism –Medicare (for elderly) passed in 1960s (New Society Programme) Health care attached to collective bargaining (employer sponsorship)

14 Conclusions 1: convergence or divergence? Funding: - different combinations of tax and contributory finance –Dual contributions (France) –Tri-partite contributions (Germany: Sweden: UK) Redistribution: flat-rate (UK and Sweden) v. earnings- related (Germany and France) Coverage: no unemployment cover in France (until 1958) or Sweden (until 1992) Administration –Worker representatives dominate bi-partite councils (France) –Central bureaucracy/ universal rules (UK & Sweden) –Social democracy / subsidiarity/ tri-partite administration (Germany) = Different meanings of ‘social security’

15 Conclusions II: the importance of politics Nature of welfare determined by: –Historical experiences and established obligations –National political allegiances and priorities –National economic strategies and role of the state in economic and social management. Support from organised working class equally divergent (initial problems in Sweden) Common languages disguise different trajectories of social reform

16 Conclusions III: social solidarity Welfare rights based on –Citizenship (= universalism?) –Contributions (male breadwinner models?) Social solidarity fractured by –Public employees v. private employees –White-collar v. blue collar –Different professions / schemes –Slow expansion of state welfare to self-employed / professionals (France and Germany)

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