Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State

Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State

Author: Benjamin Veghte

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781351899444

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 851

Drawing together leading international experts such as Knut Halvorsen, Robert Y. Shapiro, Stefan Svallfors and Wim van Oorschot, this volume addresses issues of justice and legitimacy in the context of welfare state transformation. The contributors demonstrate that the Western welfare state is not at risk of losing support or encountering fundamental opposition, but does face serious challenges including growing social and ethnic diversity, new social risks, fiscal constraints and contested notions of justice. The volume focuses on four main aspects: attitude formation in cross-national perspective, the just distribution of burdens and benefits, political factors mediating the effects of social attitudes on public policy and challenges to the welfare state stemming from immigration and ethnic diversity. Providing a comparative perspective on the issue, Social Justice, Legitimacy and the Welfare State makes a significant contribution to the literature on the public standing of the welfare state.

Welfare Law

Welfare Law

Author: Lucy A. Williams

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000113860

Category: Social Science

Page: 602

View: 290

This title was first published in 2001: Welfare law is a legal field integral to most jurisprudential formulations, whether artificially designated as doctrinal, theoretical or practical. At its core, legal discourse regarding welfare challenges the formulations traditionally viewed as ’pre-legal’, the ’background rules’ of property, tort and contract law. In addition, it affects a large percentage of the world’s population, highlights the social construction of identities and perhaps more than any other area of law, graphically epitomizes the intersection of class, race and gender distinctions. However, within both the legal academy and practice, welfare law has been marginalized and viewed as a field that does not connect to any but a small sector of lawyers and legal clients. Isolated as an arcane domain of either statutory and regulatory legal minutiae or jurisprudential insignificance, welfare law has never realized its potential as a major hub for legal theoretical discourse. The articles in this volume seek to expose the roots of the essentialized view of welfare law as nonessential and re-establish its value and importance.

Welfare Reform and Political Theory

Welfare Reform and Political Theory

Author: Lawrence M. Mead

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 9781610443890

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 296

View: 214

During the 1990s, both the United States and Britain shifted from entitlement to work-based systems for supporting their poor citizens. Much research has examined the implications of welfare reform for the economic well-being of the poor, but the new legislation also affects our view of democracy—and how it ought to function. By eliminating entitlement and setting behavioral conditions on aid, welfare reform challenges our understanding of citizenship, political equality, and the role of the state. In Welfare Reform and Political Theory, editors Lawrence Mead and Christopher Beem have assembled an accomplished list of political theorists, social policy experts, and legal scholars to address how welfare reform has affected core concepts of political theory and our understanding of democracy itself. Welfare Reform and Political Theory is unified by a common set of questions. The contributors come from across the political spectrum, each bringing different perspectives to bear. Carole Pateman argues that welfare reform has compromised the very tenets of democracy by tying the idea of citizenship to participation in the marketplace. But William Galston writes that American citizenship has in some respects always been conditioned on good behavior; work requirements continue that tradition by promoting individual responsibility and self-reliance—values essential to a well-functioning democracy. Desmond King suggests that work requirements draw invidious distinctions among citizens and therefore destroy political equality. Amy Wax, on the other hand, contends that ending entitlement does not harm notions of equality, but promotes them, by ensuring that no one is rewarded for idleness. Christopher Beem argues that entitlement welfare served a social function—acknowledging the social value of care—that has been lost in the movement towards conditional benefits. Stuart White writes that work requirements can be accepted only subject to certain conditions, while Lawrence Mead argues that concerns about justice must be addressed only after recipients are working. Alan Deacon is well to the left of Joel Schartz, but both say government may actively promote virtue through social policy—a stance some other contributors reject. The move to work-centered welfare in the 1990s represented not just a change in government policy, but a philosophical change in the way people perceived government, its functions, and its relationship with citizens. Welfare Reform and Political Theory offers a long overdue theoretical reexamination of democracy and citizenship in a workfare society.

The Conditions of Discretion

The Conditions of Discretion

Author: Joel Handler

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 9781610442671

Category: Political Science

Page: 344

View: 778

This timely book is concerned with interactions between ordinary people and large public bureaucracies—interactions that typically are characterized by mutual frustration and antagonism. In fact, as Joel Handler points out, the procedural guidelines intended to ensure fairness and due process fail to take account of an initial imbalance of power and tend to create adversarial rather than cooperative relationships. When the special education needs of a handicapped child must be determined, parents and school administrators often face an especially painful confrontation. The Conditions of Discretion focuses on one successful approach to educational decision making (developed by the school district of Madison, Wisconsin) in order to illustrate how such interactions can be restructured and enhanced. Madison’s creative plan regards parents as part of the solution, not the problem, and uses “lay advocates” to turn conflict into an opportunity for communication. Arrangements such as these, in Handler’s analysis, exemplify the theoretical conditions under which discretionary decisions can be made fairly and with the informed participation of all concerned. The Conditions of Discretion offers not only a detailed case study, sympathetically described, but also persuasive assessments of major themes in contemporary legal and social policy—informed consent, bureaucratic change, social movement activity, the relationship of the individual to the state. From these strands, Handler weaves a significant new theory of cooperative decision making that integrates the public and the private, recognizes the importance of values, and preserves autonomy within community. "A masterful blend of social criticism, social sciences, and humane, constructive thought about the future of the welfare state." —Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School