The New Politics of the Welfare State

  title={The New Politics of the Welfare State},
  author={Paul Pierson},
  journal={World Politics},
  pages={143 - 179}
  • P. Pierson
  • Published 1 January 1996
  • Economics
  • World Politics
This essay seeks to lay the foundation for an understanding of welfare state retrenchment. Previous discussions have generally relied, at least implicitly, on a reflexive application of theories designed to explain welfare state expansion. Such an approach is seriously flawed. Not only is the goal of retrenchment (avoiding blame for cutting existing programs) far different from the goal of expansion (claiming credit for new social benefits), but the welfare state itself vastly alters the… 

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