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p. 11. What is the welfare state?locked

  • David Garland


There are three general conceptions used for the welfare state: the first characterizes the welfare state as welfare for the poor; the second focuses on social insurance, social rights, and social services; and the third highlights economic management and the role that the ‘government of the economy’ plays in every welfare state. ‘What is the welfare state?’ explains that welfare states are varied, complex, and difficult to define. There is no simple theory that clearly expresses what they do, no simple vision that neatly captures what they are for. The welfare state is a damage-limiting, problem-solving device rather than anyone’s ideal social relationship.

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