Post-Industrial Socialism: Towards a New Politics of Welfare

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Another legislative regulation was made in as a result of economic and social pressure and because of the developments at the time. This is the beginning of the stigmatizing effects of social policy. Welfare state really emerged after World War II. Along World War I, all countries spent all of their resources for war. After World War I, it was understood that John Maynard Keynes approach was not sufficient for creating job opportunities and reviving public economy. After the war, it was believed that a second war could be prevented by means of creating job opportunities and providing new working and life standards.

With Social Security report Social Insurance and Allied Services , Lord William Beveridge aimed at creating a health system, providing minimum income and decreasing employment rates. Distrustfulness of liberalism urged countries for plunging into new quests. States faced new social risks between and These risks were increase of aging population, pension payments, diseases, occupational diseases, and accidents. In s, Bismarck made some efforts in order to provide social security.

Liberalism’s rapprochment with the Welfare State - Persée

Reform efforts made by Bismarck aimed at providing a protection through social security against the risks of industrial revolution, low income, and population movements. The long working hours and heavy working conditions increased poverty and socialist movements. With these developments, the regulations covering disease insurance in , work accident insurance in , and old-age and disability insurance in were put in force.

This system also accepted the intervention by state. No similar regulations and rules had been put in force in Western European Countries until Because of industrialization, the changes in social demographic structure, and increasing pressures in nineteenth century in European states, the realization of welfare state gained speed. Public sector and economy had a rapid development in China, Brazil, and Russia.

However, Keynesian policies caused states to go into crises after s. In this period, when the proportion of social expenditures to public expenditures was gradually increasing, old-age, motherhood, injury, and death insurances were accepted in many countries. In addition, unemployment insurance and family aids were also regulated in more developed countries [ 21 ]. The welfare state has been undergoing a transformation since The state intervention which increased with economic crisis was replaced with a system in which the state shrined after the oil crisis between and In this period, states adopted the opinion that states should be less interventionist with regard to making economic and social policies.

It is observed that the budget deficit which was caused by the pressure of social expenditures increased in this period when unemployment became chronic, inflation rate increased, and economic growth decreased especially in Western European countries. Neoliberal approach which emerged in this period was adopted as a new form of liberalism, a result of solution seeking against Keynesian policies [ 22 ].

As a result of fierce competition caused by economic crises, a new period started in late s, and in that period, Keynesian welfare state went through a crisis. With globalization, welfare state that had stability in economic growth as well as good work conditions and price offers ended, and a new period in which nation states had less authority started. These developments which also affected social policies led to adoption of neoliberal approach for decreasing social expenditures.

Post Industrial Socialism Towards A New Politics Of Welfare

States started restructuring and new reforms in order to re-start economic growth. Yet again, in many countries, public expenditures have not decreased, instead, they have increased. The reasons of this condition are not only economic reasons and developments but also the reasons caused by the change of demographic structure like aging population and the changing family structure. As mentioned above, economic policies and social policies have mutual interactions.


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It is obvious that the changes in economic policies also affect social policies, and no one is independent of the other. On the other hand, the economic condition of welfare state is not only related with individual behaviors but also related with social security system to be accepted for labor market and social welfare. The contradiction between labor market and state intervention has yet to be solved [ 17 ]. Welfare state continues to develop. State still plays an important role in determining social policies.

It is possible to say that not only economic indicators but also the changes taking place in demographic and social structure play role in determining the policies of welfare state. The welfare state aims at redistributing income and thus plays an interventionist and regulatory role. It takes measures to eliminate negativity in working life. It determines the minimum wage, undertakes social security and welfare services, and intervenes by taxes and other expenditures to eliminate injustices in income distribution [ 23 , 24 ].

The welfare state is expressed as the deepened and extension of the classic protective state [ 25 ].

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All of the definitions regarding welfare state include the mentality to protect those who have poor economic and social conditions. This protection can be done through social policies. Considering the practices of the welfare state, various distinctions have been made on the basis of services and expenditures to ensure social welfare. The most important study about this issue has been made by Gosta Esping-Andersen. The welfare state, emerging as a response to the search for solutions to address the inequalities and negativities created by the industrial revolution, is a new form of the liberal state.

Because the liberal approach threatening social interests due to the fact that capital and markets were not interfered and the socialist approach that kept the interests of the working class at the highest level were not sufficient to meet the social needs, the welfare state emerged as a system to overcome the problems of both of these systems.

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Regarding the welfare state, it is possible to make the following determinations regarding the period until the beginning of the process of globalization and neoliberalism [ 28 ]. The residual approach evolved and replaced by with an institutional approach. While it was an understanding of service to meet the needs of only poor, it has turned into universal service to meet the needs of the whole society.

The understanding that such problems as poverty and unemployment are not because of the mistakes done by individuals but because of inadequacy of the state and its institutions. Making efforts to take responsibility for providing social welfare has shifted from volunteer individuals and institutions to public institutions.

The economic crises experienced after the s caused problems and criticized the Keynesian welfare state.


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  8. Budget deficit was one of the problems that were faced due to the increase in unemployment, the decrease in economic growth, and the increase in retirement age and health expenditures due to the aging of the population. The criticism and debate about the welfare state are that all the negative, economic, social, and political problems are caused by the social policy practices of the welfare state.

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    The important point is providing people welfare for the welfare states. Criticisms about the welfare state are: Poverty and unemployment rates have not been reduced, and social welfare policies have not been successful. The opportunities provided for welfare cause negative effects on family structure, increase divorce rates, and deteriorate moral values.

    Social expenditures have increased [ 28 , 29 ]. Welfare states have begun to develop new policies and restructure due to the problems that constitute the source of criticisms of social policy. Although it is claimed that the welfare state has a tendency to go back due to economic and financial pressures, it is possible to say that the welfare state continues to make efforts to adapt with the new conditions. The transformations which have taken place in social policy and welfare state can be explained under the shade of globalization.

    In s and s, privatization and marketization had an impact for some of conservative governments. The governments had more liberal approach to civil society and economy policy. Globalization reveals a free market economy, liberal democracy, and cultural differences in the process leading to a holistic world economy [ 30 ].


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    Globalization process gained momentum after In this process which was based on economic liberalization, the neoliberal model became dominant and the idea that state should abandon its active role in social policies was adopted. In some developed countries, which had been practicing the neoliberal model, social policy implementations began to lose their importance, and they were completely neglected in less developed countries.

    The effects of globalization became more evident at the end of the twentieth century, and the welfare state had less intrusive character with regard to taking measures for social protection due to the pressure caused by social expenditures and increased taxes. With the adoption of the dominant view that social expenditures hampered economic growth, the shrinking of welfare states and reduction of its role on social policies gained momentum.

    Due to the increasing competition between the welfare states, poverty and unemployment have increased, and injustices have emerged in the distribution of income [ 21 ]. The narrowing of social welfare state practices in the process of globalization caused social rights to be restricted. State shrinks through liberalization. The possibility of the deterioration of the balance between capital and labor, which was tried to be established after the industrial revolution, threatens those who are in need of social protection.