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Explaining Welfare State Developments: Towards a Comparative Research Agenda


The aim of this paper is to provide a first sketch of an analytical framework which could be used for the comparative analysis of wel-fare state developments, under the form of emergence, consolidation, expansion and reform. We shall do so inspired by Flora and Hei-denheimer’s (1981) seminal work on the development of the welfare state, and more specifically we shall depart from the ‘sequencing’ which is provided at the end of the book in the contribution by Hugh Heclo (“Towards a New Welfare State?”) which differentiates the ‘stages of welfarism’ in four phases: experimentation, consolidation, expansion, reformulation based on the analysis of political and eco-nomic events (Heclo, 1981: 386-387). Furthermore, we will also use Flora’s ‘macro-constellation’ of factors in proposing an analytical framework which will be used also for comparative purposes. The article is organised as follows: section 2 traces the main similarities and differences with respect to welfare state developments in Western Eu-rope and Latin America; section 3 critically discusses the most relevant theories of welfare state developments used for the analysis of welfare state developments in the two continents; section 4 discusses the results of our review and presents the analytical framework which should allow us to better understand – from a theoretical perspective – the evolution of welfare states in the two continents under scrutiny, and beyond.
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hal-03440890 , version 1 (22-11-2021)



Paolo Roberto Graziano, Matteo Jessoula. Explaining Welfare State Developments: Towards a Comparative Research Agenda. 2018. ⟨hal-03440890⟩


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