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Globalisation, Political Discourse, and Welfare Systems in a Comparative Perspective: Germany, Japan, and the USA

[journal article]

Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin

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Abstract The welfare state in industrial countries is being challenged by a number of developments: the globalization or internationalization of the economy, changing demographics, a transformation from industrial to postindustrial economies, as well as social & cultural changes. Although all of these variables are important, this paper addresses only the effects of globalization on social policy arrangements in the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, & the US. The starting point of the paper is the hypothesis that the specific perception of globalization & the constructed links to social policy arrangements within the political discourse must be taken into account when analyzing the effects of globalization. Furthermore, it is argued that focusing solely on the state's activity within the realm of social policy might lead to distorted & misleading results. Finally, the different dynamics of welfare systems in the era of globalization are discussed in a broader theoretical framework. It is argued that the concept of path dependency underestimates the changes that have taken place in the German, Japanese, & US-American welfare systems.
Keywords Japan
Classification Social Policy
Free Keywords Globalization; Economic Development; Social Policy; Welfare State; Industrial Societies; Postindustrial Societies; United States of America; Federal Republic of Germany; Crosscultural Analysis; Path Analysis
Document language English
Publication Year 2002
Page/Pages p. 749-769
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 38 (2002) 6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications