MARCH 23, 2012: Conference
Esping-Anderson readings: he creates a dynamic typology that separates three
general categories to attempt to explain how they came about, and not all countries
necessarily fit into these categories (ex. Welfare regimes, continental cases involve
pieces of other types); whereas Siaroff wants his typology to be jointly exclusive and
He is interested in questions of social citizenship and social welfare
Esping-Anderson is looking at the development of welfare regimes throughout key
periods in history. This includes the initial formation of welfare regimes (in the first
piece) and how society responds to economic changes, which corresponds with the
earlier period of industrialization and capitalism.
Esping-Anderson explains three types of welfare regimes:
1. The Liberal Model: the key characteristics are that it is means-tested (which
means that your eligibility for social/welfare benefits is tied to some
qualification related to your level of income or assets, you must be fairly
poor to be eligible for benefits), low decommodification, not generous, abject
2. Corporatist/Continental Model: key characteristics include a male
breadwinner model (family based, specific gender roles because it is based
on catholic history), pensions are based on a long period of contributing to
the pension system over time, benefits distributed on a cash basis- rather
than providing things like free daycare, there would be a cash benefit that
would enable the mother to stay at home. The system could be generous but
also is fragmented. Some groups have a high level of benefit generosity;
with other it is fairly low (fairly fragmented).
3. Social Democratic Model: characteristics are universal access, need-based,
egalitarian, they may provide services instead of cash (ie. Providing daycare
to allow women to be in the workforce- not based on traditional gender
Commodification vs. decommodification: commodification is making something into
a commodity- it’s value is dependent on market exchange, supply and demand, and
it can be bought and sold and does not depend on a social relationship.
Pre-commodified period– you have either individual land holders that produce for
themselves, then you see early capitalism and labour becomes commodified.
There are liberals who believe that commodification is freeing the individual from
the bounds of these different social relationships. They do not feel that
commodification is a bad thing, and the market is a good thing.
Conservatives in this early period were attached to elements of the pre-
commodification view of society. Conservatives were in favour of remnants of
corporatist and semi-feudal organization, the conne