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Ideology and the Welfare State: An Examination of Wilensky's Conclusions

John Barnes and Talapady Srivenkataramana
Social Service Review
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 230-245
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/60000100
Page Count: 16
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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.
Ideology and the Welfare State: An Examination of Wilensky's Conclusions
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Abstract

In The Welfare State and Equality (1975), Harold L. Wilensky found no relationship between ideology and the development of the welfare state. By restricting an examination of his data to Western nations, the authors found a -.75 percent correlation between a rank ordering of states according to the percentage of the GNP spent on social security and a rank ordering of states according to their distance from a central European point. These findings could be interpreted through the application of Hartzian theory, but the findings also indicated that the differences between commitment to social security might also be accounted for in the differences between the internal dynamics of mono-ideological states and multi-ideological states.

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