Twilight of Swedish Social Democracy
Hailed with relief for fear of a bleaker outcome, the SAP’s poor performance in the September 2018 election underlines the malaise afflicting social democracy’s global flagship. Therborn charts the country’s SAP-led neoliberalization—and rise of the far-right Sweden Democrats—against the backdrop of recession and refugee arrivals.
21st Century Welfare
Latin America as laboratory for conditional cash transfers, fast becoming the hegemonic social-protection paradigm for the Global South. In a comparative survey, Lena Lavinas reveals the CCT model as a strategy for the financialization—not abolition—of poverty.
Grandeur and Misery of the Social State
Kafka’s day job, defending injured factory workers, as starting point for an illuminating study of the West’s social-protection mechanisms. Mixed legacies and uncertain future of a system built to mitigate the tensions of industrialization.
Capital and Social Europe
What positive programme can the Left propose for a ‘social Europe’, against the Anglo-Saxon model? Robin Blackburn outlines first steps towards a new financial regime aimed at boosting resources for sustainable health and retirement provision, with a share levy on corporations, redistributed across the continent.
The Enron Debacle and the Pension Crisis
What does the collapse of America’s energy conglomerate reveal about the mechanisms of financial intermediation? Crooked accountancy and plundering of employee pensions as badges of the Anglo-Saxon model that is conquering the landscape of capital today.
Clinton’s finest hour, on the welfare front. The moral hysterias and mean calculations of US reform are now a benchmark for post-social-democracy in Britain. Joel Handler considers the fall in American welfare rolls, and the realities of poverty and vulnerability behind them.
Competition and Containment in Health Care
“The health care systems of the capitalist democracies have been subjected to radical transformation during the 1990s. This transformation has been rooted in the perceived need to control the cost of health care to the state and business, given factors such as the increasing range of effective services, . . .” read more
Persuasion and Conformity: An Assessment of the Borrie Report on Social Justice
“The Labour Party is recasting its policies on the welfare state and one substantial contribution to its thinking is the Report of its Commission on Social Justice. What informed the Commission’s approach? Without saying as much, they appear to have been governed by the belief that to win . . .” read more
Marxism and the 'Welfare State'
“The Political Economy of the Welfare State by Ian Gough is the third book to appear in a series of educational texts, ‘Critical Texts in Social Work and the Welfare State’, edited by Professor Peter Leonard. The series is located by Peter Leonard within the ‘crisis’ and . . .” read more
Inequality and Exploitation
“Britain remains a country where the concentration of wealth is still one of the highest in the world. This is a fact that has significance for all societies of the capitalist type. After all, Britain has had one of the strongest Labour movements of any advanced capitalist country. . . .” read more
The Limits of the Welfare State
“Social welfare or the social services, operating through agencies, institutions and programs outside the private market, are becoming more difficult to define in any society with any precision. As societies become more complex and specialized, so do systems of social welfare. Functionally, they reflect and respond to the . . .” read more
Pensions, Equality and Socialism
“Discussions and proposals about pensions seem to increase in number and complexity. But for socialists the criterion by which the effectiveness of any set of proposals is to be judged would, at first sight, appear to be a simple one. Our society is characterized by gross inequalities in . . .” read more
Planning or Prediction?
“Peter Hall’s book, London 2000, is a useful corrective to a good deal of loose thinking about “planning”, if only because it states, with great gusto and conviction, a point of view that sharply contradicts theories that have been accepted uncritically for many years. If Peter Hall has . . .” read more
But Nothing Happens
“The definition of what constitutes a slum is at any time arbitrary and shifting, depending more upon the vagaries of the English social conscience than upon any precise and identifiable condition. In times of social crisis, when opinion is deeply disturbed the number of slums is generally thought . . .” read more
Single Person Accommodation
“When people think of slum clearance, they usually visualise the rehousing of families, particularly families with young children. And when they talk about the homeless, they think of the families in the Rest Centres, of mothers with two, three or four children who can’t find a place just . . .” read more
Scotland: The Houses that Last a Thousand Years
“From further up the hill it may have looked almost like a new block of flats, except, of course, they don’t build the chimneys on the outside walls any more, and those Huguenot style cornices are dated now, but the granite glistens in the winter sunshine and the . . .” read more
“As a worker in an advisory office in East London I am consulted every day by people in urgent housing need. On an average, 20 people a day come to this office and, of these, at least a quarter have a severe housing problem, so that over my . . .” read more
Red Flag Flying High
“labour lost control of the St. Pancras Council in the borough elections of May 1959. In October Lena Jeger lost to Johnson-Smith in the Holborn and St. Pancras (south) constituency. For people to whom St. Pancras is something of a Socialist ikon the defeats were shattering, perhaps . . .” read more
The Pub and the People
“out of the fringe of Burnley’s central shopping area there towers the newly-opened Keirby Hotel, standing, in the words of The Guardian “as conspicuous and self-conscious as a brand-new car upended on a scrap heap.” “We were free of all inhibitions when it came to design,” declared . . .” read more
Old Folks at Home
“on monday April 3, the Conservative Party’s new pension scheme comes into force. People earning £9 or less a week will not be directly affected to any extent, but those earning more will feel its impact increasingly. Everyone at the top of the new graduated scale—that is . . .” read more
Shell Watches Over Us
“the public outcry against Mr. Cotton’s plans to wreck the Piccadilly Site with a 170 ft. advertising hoardingcum-office block of monumental ugliness, has had some effect. The Minister has been obliged to reject the scheme: and the Report had some tart things to say about Mr. Cotton’s . . .” read more