Third way reforms: a comparative study of social democratic welfare state reforms after the Golden Age Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Huo, Jingjing
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • The dissertation examines the welfare state and labour market reforms under social democratic governments in nine OECD countries across three main types of welfare state regimes after the Golden Age. Using a "most-different-cases" comparative research design, the dissertation makes four main contributions to the literature. First, it proposes a theoretical framework for social democratic welfare reforms. As an "activation" based approach to social justice, the core third way strategies are focused on the expansion of active labour market measures. Secondly, the dissertation contests the "new politics of the welfare state" thesis that path dependency diminishes partisan effects on welfare reforms after the Golden Age. Thirdly, the dissertation argues that focusing solely on the welfare state proper, and social expenditure in particular, is inappropriate for welfare reform studies. Lastly, with regard to theories of institutional evolution, the dissertation highlights the importance of institutional innovation based on political contestation, as opposed to institutional reproduction based on path dependency.
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  • In Copyright
  • Stephens, John
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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