Reconceptualizing the Welfare State. an Empirical Investigation of the Growing Symbiosis and Contradiction with Capitalism in Rich European Democracies.

Friday, June 24, 2016: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
105 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Bea Cantillon, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
The welfare state is often seen too narrowly as a 'moral economy': capitalism with a social face, forged by harsh social conflict. However, the welfare state is also an important way to support the capitalist mode of production. Over the past four decades, we perceive the slow emergence of a new era of the welfare state. Using spending data, standard simulations and household income surveys we show for a selection of rich European nations that both the welfare state’s symbiosis and contradictions with the market have grown. This explains why poverty did not decrease despite increasing incomes, welfare state efforts and employment.