One Welfare State Emerging? Convergence versus divergence in 16 western countries

Achterberg, Peter and Yerkes, Mara (2009) One Welfare State Emerging? Convergence versus divergence in 16 western countries. Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, 25 3: 189-201. doi:10.1080/17486830903189931


Author Achterberg, Peter
Yerkes, Mara
Title One Welfare State Emerging? Convergence versus divergence in 16 western countries
Journal name Journal of Comparative Social Welfare   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1748-6831
1748-684X
Publication date 2009-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/17486830903189931
Volume 25
Issue 3
Start page 189
End page 201
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract In this article we try to investigate the empirical validity of the convergence thesis, which assumes that welfare states are increasingly similar because more generous universal welfare states are adopting policies of retrenchment and neo-liberalization. Using data on the popularity of neo-liberal ideology, welfare state expenditures and the generosity of this spending for 16 western countries, we find that there is no general trend towards neo-liberalization and retrenchment. However, we do find that there is a trend towards convergence. More generous, universal welfare states are becoming more liberalized, and liberal welfare states are expanding, which causes convergence in the middle. At the end of the article we attempt to explain why welfare states are converging. We find that although they do not converge on neo-liberalization as is often thought, two common explanations used to support the neo-liberal convergence arguments, globalization and Europeanization, can explain the 'middle-of-the-road' convergence found here. Adapted from the source document.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
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Created: Wed, 19 Oct 2011, 14:36:45 EST by Sarah Flett on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research