Welfare states and the great unraveling

July 18, 2016

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 15th July 2016, written by David Garland, author of The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction.

The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction

'We appear to be on the verge of a great unraveling – a period in which the established arrangements of political and economic life are rapidly coming undone. And at heart of these events is the question of the welfare state and the security of working people in contemporary capitalism.

Many of us look on, incredulous, as one unimaginable event follows another. Last month’s Brexit vote rocked the foundations not just of the European Union, but also of Great Britain, where the major parties are in disarray and the future of the 300 year-old United Kingdom is suddenly in question. In the US, the unscripted success of maverick showman Donald Trump and self-described ‘socialist’ Bernie Sanders highlights the weakness of America’s political party establishments, the visceral force of populist disaffection, and the utterly unforeseen nature of the present moment. Meanwhile in countries such as Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands, popular discontent nourishes the revival of ultra-nationalism and a powerful backlash against the project of European unification.'

Discover more: Read the rest of the article on the OUPblog.

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