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Lecture 5

GOVT 2225 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Disability Insurance, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, Parental Leave

Course Code
GOVT 2225
Anna Haskins

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GOVT 2225
Week 3, Lecture 1
A Welfare State
What is a Welfare State?
A social system whereby the government undertakes to protect the health and well-being
of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need
Government takes on role to help its citizens
Why do most western industrialized countries have welfare states?
Economic reasons:
oMany of those countries subscribes to capitalism  economic inequality
oCreation of welfare states minimizes insecurities & inequality that arises due to
Demographic & social reasons
oHave better health care  live longer  more elderly people who need care 
welfare state wants to take care of the elderly population
Political reasons
oDemands from workers for rights & protections
oHave a democratic belief that all citizens should have social rights & equal ability
to survive & function
3 Main types of Social Welfare States
Social Democratic: most generous
oNordic and Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland)
oEmphasis is on equality & social citizenship
oWork & welfare are intertwined: full employment is assumed
oMany universal benefits, entitlements such as parental leave allowance
oBenefits categorized as “floors”—these serve ALL regardless of income
Entitlements for everyone
Corporatist: middle
oEuropean countries (Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain Austria Belgium)
oBenefits tied to prior earnings and work status, universal (for those in a given
If you work, you are entitled to these benefits. If you don’t work, you
don’t get these benefits
oEmphasis on maintaining social peace
oHistorical influence of the Church. Support for the elderly is better than in the
liberal welfare states, little support for children because they haven’t worked,
they’re not entitled to anything
oEnglish speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia)
oEmphasize the market—residual welfare state, relies on the market
oBenefits have minimal coverage and modest levels
oHigh stigma for recipients—programs are means-tested
oBenefits categorized as “safety nets”. Relieve abject poverty, but doesn’t prevent
The History of our Social Welfare System
The New Deal (1930s)—FDR
find more resources at
find more resources at
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