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The past, present and future of social democracy and the welfare state

This book outlines the reasons for the development of and need for social democracy and the welfare state. It begins with the reaffirmation that post-2008 Anglo-America has seen the greatest concentration of wealth since the Great Depression, some nine decades earlier. The book reviews the thought of classical liberals like Adam Smith, democratic theorists like Alexis De Tocqueville and Matthew Arnold, and early social democrats like John Stuart Mill and Beatrice Webb. It further details the reasons for the derailing of the welfare state. Milton Friedman's ideas about the free market were institutionalized by Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, both of whom dismantled the welfare state, or as much of it as possible. The book talks about the collapse of the Grand Narrative of the Left in the 1980s and 1990s. How this led to the 'great forgetting' in Anglo-America, and to a lesser extent in continental European social democracies and welfare states as well, is discussed. The book argues that 'forgetting' the past success of social democracy has been costly. It highlights that globalization does not explain unemployment in Anglo-America; nor is it the cause of inequality in either the US or the UK. A comparison of Anglo-America's social model with the European social model of the welfare and social democratic states of continental Europe, follows. Even with the high unemployment rates of the European Union, most of Europe is still as economically efficient as the US and the UK.

Philip J. O’Connell

increase participation in society. Job loss may be associated with poverty, psychological distress and more general social exclusion. Less than 40 per cent of adult African nationals in Ireland are employed, far less than the average for Irish ‘natives’ or for other immigrant groups. 2 They also suffer much higher rates of unemployment than the national average. The pattern is similar in other European labour markets. This chapter explores the underlying reasons for African disadvantage in the Irish labour market. Previous research has generated a substantial body

in Immigrants as outsiders in the two Irelands
Trade union benefits and the advent of state policy
Noel Whiteside

4 Transforming the unemployed: trade union benefits and the advent of state policy Noel W hiteside Introduction: defining unemployment In his early work, Chris Wrigley wrote extensively on the relationship between the Liberal Party and the labour movement in general and on David Lloyd George and the trade unions in particular, notably during the years surrounding the First World War. The present chapter revisits this relation­ship – less to revise Chris’s original contribution than to add to it, by reviewing the pre-war Liberal governments’ well known welfare

in Labour and working-class lives
Abstract only
‘whole buildings have disappeared’
Anna Killick

employment conditions during his working life. He started in the Navy as a ‘marine engineer’, repairing and refitting engines, but when the shipyards started closing he switched to decommissioning in the nuclear industry, heavy work, handling the material in protective suits. He was made redundant from that due to technological change and was shaken by the unemployment he experienced afterwards. Unfortunately, from 1972 onwards I was in and out of work. One time I could pack in a job one day, walk to another company and get another job the same afternoon to restart

in Rigged
A summing up
Jack Lawrence Luzkow

if Europeans do not have more children, bring in more immigrants, work a few more years before retiring, accept less generous unemployment benefits, and make it easier for businesses to employ young people. But none of this is a criticism of the European welfare state or of social democracy as such, or an insinuation of deep structural failings; it is an acknowledgement that adjustments must be made because people are living longer, and there are more retired people as a percentage of the entire population.3 Critics of social democracy and the social welfare state

in The great forgetting
Aaron Edwards

the rest of the Kingdom in the benefits of a prosperous and progressive peace … Our people, especially our men and women from the fighting forces, are entitled to this and it is the one goal to which they now aim. 3 Despite the tactical deployment of these ‘rhetorical sorties’, hopes were soon dashed. Chronic unemployment – on a similar par to that experienced in the aftermath of the First World War – quickly transpired to become a monumental feature of everyday life until its peak in the late 1950s. Moreover, an intensification of industrial militancy among the

in A history of the Northern Ireland Labour Party
Liene Ozoliņa

2 Temporalities of austerity ‘You have to keep moving in spite of everything’1 It was an early morning in October 2011, and I was walking through the Central Market to Riga’s unemployment office. The market was bustling as always, despite the fact that Latvians were still coping with the aftermath of the economic crisis. The effects of the crisis were visible in the public space: there were fewer people and cars on the streets and more closed-down shops and restaurants. Instead, little cafes were popping up one after another in the centre of the city where

in Politics of waiting
Abstract only
Jack Lawrence Luzkow

protect their Introduction 3 health, homes, and jobs. Instead, they have been severely disappointed by a president who has not fought for them, but who has sought as an ally the same bankers on Wall Street that helped to produce the crisis we are in today. Today millions are unemployed. Though the official rate of unemployment stands roughly at 6.5 percent, many economists claim the real figure is closer to 17 percent. This is because workers of all kinds in America, and in the UK, have lost their only allies: governments which used to be responsive to them, and

in The great forgetting
Abstract only
Liene Ozoliņa

of controlling construction projects, shifting the blame back to their political rivals. I met Viktorija at a state-funded rehabilitation centre in the resort town of Jūrmala, half an hour away by train from Riga. A professional psychologist, she was part of the team mobilised to treat the survivors of the collapse. It was over a year after we had last met and since I had participated in her seminars at the unemployment office. I had arranged an interview with her on this follow-up fieldwork trip to talk more about the way she saw her role as a trainer. As I had

in Politics of waiting
Abstract only
Income, identity and collective action
Andy Smith

personnel – a sense of disappointment that the sociologist Olivier Cousin likens to the bitter taste left by a failed love affair (2019). A second theme tackled in this chapter concerns what is spontaneously defined as the opposite of work: unemployment. As the first section will underline, for the past forty-five years its continuously high level has had a lasting impact upon not only getting a job in France, but keeping it. This also links to the often ‘precarious’ conditions under which job retention takes place and the knock-on effects this has had upon self

in Made in France