The Social Construction of an Imperative: Why Welfare Reform Happened in Denmark and the Netherlands but Not in Germany

  title={The Social Construction of an Imperative: Why Welfare Reform Happened in Denmark and the Netherlands but Not in Germany},
  author={Robert Henry Cox},
  journal={World Politics},
  pages={463 - 498}
  • R. Cox
  • Published 1 April 2001
  • Economics, Medicine
  • World Politics
This article seeks to explain why Denmark and the Netherlands made dramatic progress reforming their welfare systems in the 1990s and why Germany had a relatively slow start. Some possible explanations found to be incomplete are institutional differences in welfare programs, the uniqueness of circumstances (for example, German unification), and the balance of political power in governing institutions. An important part of the puzzle is an increasing perception of the need to reform that was… 
Globalisation, Political Discourse, and Welfare Systems in a Comparative Perspective: Germany, Japan, and the USA*
The welfare state in industrialised countries is being challenged by a number of developments: the globalisation or internationalisation of the economy, changing de- mographics, a transformation from
Germany has been characterized as a country slow to reform its welfare system. Examining this popular conception, I find that the German efforts to cut welfare spending do not lag far behind its
German unification and ‘Model Germany’: An adventure in institutional conservatism
Germany today appears to be anything but the fortunate country it was on the eve of unification. The extension of M odel Germany to Eastern Germany has contributed to the predicament Model Germany
How New Economic Ideas Changed the Danish Welfare State: The Case of Neoliberal Ideas and Highly Organized Social Democratic Interests
The article argues that new economic ideas have exerted an independent causal effect on policy change in three major areas in the Danish welfare state: unemployment insurance, early retirement, and
How and why industrial relations influence party effect upon welfare state retrenchment. A comparison of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and France
In the analysis of redistribution, not only models based on the territory principle should be considered, but also functionally structured redistribution like collectively negotiated welfare
Welfare Reforms in Post-Soviet States: A Comparison of Social Benefits Reform in Russia and Kazakhstan
Concerned with the question of why governments display varying degrees of success in implementing social reforms, (judged by their ability to arrive at coherent policy outcomes), my dissertation aims
What Do Parties Want? An Analysis of Programmatic Social Policy AIMS in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands
Comparative welfare state research has argued for some time that whether Social Democrats or Christian Democrats are in government makes a difference with regard to specific welfare state design. The
Gender equality for whom? A critical frame analysis of the 2007 Swedish domestic services tax reform
This article considers the motivations behind a 2007 reform in Sweden to implement a tax deduction on domestic services for households, and how the reform could be passed despite extensive political
The Politics of Welfare State Reform in the Netherlands: Explaining a Never-Ending Puzzle
The Dutch welfare state has always posed analytical and empirical puzzles, since existing theories cannot adequately explain the characteristic features of its welfare regime (especially its
Does Nationalism Trigger Welfare-State Disintegration? Social Policy and Territorial Mobilization in Belgium and Canada
Since the late 1990s a growing number of scholars have explored the relationship between decentralization, nationalism, and social policy development. In this paper we explore the impact of substate


The Danish Welfare State under Bourgeois Reign: The Dilemma of Popular Entrenchment and Economic Constraints
From 1982 to 1993, a decade of tight economic constraints, the Danish welfare state was governed by bourgeois parties. The expectation of the power resources model, the most prevalent theory about
Motives, means and opportunities: Reforming unemployment compensation in the 1990s
At the end of the 1990s the debate about developments in European welfare states looks distinctly different compared with the 1980s, or even the early 1990s. Attempts to explain welfare state change,
Social Insurance and the German Political Economy
Studies of the welfare state usually try to find out which factors have contributed to its ascendancy since the end of the nineteenth century and which factors explain the various approaches
Managed Liberalization of the Dutch Welfare State: A Review and Analysis of the Reform of the Dutch Social Security System, 1985–1998
In this article the changes that have been implemented in the Dutch social security system are analyzed. The extensive changes are characterized as a form of "managed liberalization." This
The 'Dutch Miracle', Job growth, welfare reform and corporatism in the Netherlands
The Dutch polder model recently dubbed a 'success story' by Bill Clinton and Jacques Delors - plays a prominent role in current discussions about possibilities for a new 'capitalism with a social
The New Politics of the Welfare State
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
Structuring politics : historical institutionalism in comparative analysis
Preface 1. Historical institutionalism in comparative politics Kathleen Thelen and Sven Steinmo 2. Labor market institutions and working class strength Bo Rothstein 3. The rules of the game: the
Vice into Virtue? Progressive Politics and Welfare Reform in Continental Europe
  • J. Levy
  • Medicine, Economics
    Politics & society
  • 1999
The fact that the left is in power in an unprecedented number of European countries—France, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, and now Germany—is not necessarily grounds for celebration, but leftist electoral planets have entered into alignment at precisely the moment when fiscal constraints have become extremely tight.
The Consequences of Welfare Reform: How Conceptions of Social Rights are Changing
The idea of the welfare state is commonly grounded in the principles of social rights, universality and solidarity. Over the past twenty years, welfare reforms have challenged the salience of this
The Danish “Miracle”
The 1980s and 1990s saw employment “miracles” in Denmark, Australia, and the Netherlands. This article analyzes the dynamics and substance of Danish policy responses to poor export, employment, and