The Right and the Welfare State

ISBN : 9780199678419

Carsten Jensen
176 Pages
159 x 221 mm
Pub date
Jun 2014
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The Right and the Welfare State studies the welfare state policies of conservative and liberal governments. These parties have been assumed to be nothing but the welfare-sceptical flip-side of the Left, but the book presents a new theory arguing that the conventional wisdom is wrong. The policy goals of the Right - and the political means by which they pursue them - is a lot less straightforward than simply "pro" or "con" the welfare state. The book uses the distinction between labor market risks and life-course risks in order to explain why the Right's voters care much more about some social programs than about others and why, consequently, the policies of Right governments are much more diverse than is normally thought. The book also introduces the concepts of "marketization via layering" and "erode and attack" to help explain the peculiar approach to reforms adopted by Right governments. The book analyses data on public opinion and public policies from a large set of Western democracies and combines this with in-depth case studies of Australia, Denmark, and the UK.


1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Framework
3. Preferences for Risk Protection
4. A Quantitative Analysis of the Partisan Politics of Risk Protection
5. The Fine Art of Marketization
6. Erode and Attack
7. New Perspectives on the Welfare State

About the author: 

Carsten Jensen's research focuses on the role of political parties in public policy-making and opinion formation in Western democracies. He is Associate Professor at Aarhus University.

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