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Welfare-State Retrenchment Revisited: Entitlement Cuts, Public Sector Restructuring, and Inegalitarian Trends in Advanced Capitalist Societies

Richard Clayton and Jonas Pontusson
World Politics
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Oct., 1998), pp. 67-98
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25054066
Page Count: 32
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Welfare-State Retrenchment Revisited: Entitlement Cuts, Public Sector Restructuring, and Inegalitarian Trends in Advanced Capitalist Societies
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Abstract

In recent years it has become commonplace for comparativists to emphasize the resilience of welfare states in advanced capitalist societies and the failure of neoliberal efforts to dismantle the welfare state. Challenging some tenets of the resilience thesis, this article seeks to broaden the discussion of welfare-state retrenchment. The authors argue that a sharp deceleration of social spending has occurred in most OECD countries since 1980, that welfare states have failed to offset the rise of market-generated inequality and insecurity, and that welfare programs have become less universalistic. They stress the distributive and political consequences of market-oriented reforms of the public sector.

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