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Social Policy in an Era of CompetitionFrom Global to Local Perspectives$
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Dan Horsfall and John Hudson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326274

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326274.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Crisis, austerity, competitiveness and growth: new pathologies of the welfare state

Crisis, austerity, competitiveness and growth: new pathologies of the welfare state

(p.187) Eleven Crisis, austerity, competitiveness and growth: new pathologies of the welfare state
Social Policy in an Era of Competition

Kevin Farnsworth

Zoë Irving

Policy Press

This chapter discusses how economists, governments, international organisations, and various other political and financial interests have exploited the economic crisis to assert the argument that the welfare state is unsustainable and that major social policy reforms are essential if nations affected by the crisis are to become competitive in the world system. The challenges faced by governments subject to variations of the unfolding economic crises since 2007/08 have centred on two key questions: first, how to use social policies in strategies for recovery; second, how to deal with the massive economic costs imposed by the crisis. Since the impact of the crisis varied between states, so the policies employed by governments to deal with the crisis have varied. In some cases they have been driven by national economic and political factors, in others they have been driven by world-regional and international factors. The strategy of austerity plays a central role in the future growth models advocated by both national governments and international financial organisations and it is the economic and political success of this approach that shapes the prospects of the welfare state.

Keywords:   economic crisis, welfare state, social policy reforms, austerity, growth models, national governments, international financial organisations, competitiveness

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