Miquel Glatzer and Dietrich Reuschemeyer (eds.) Globalization and the Future of the Welfare State (2005), Conclusion

Summary:_ Looking at the impact of economic openness on social welfare policy.  Neither the efficiency thesis (welfare restrains growth) or the compensation thesis (openness sparks demand for welfare) manages to explain any case adequately. Politics matters no matter what.

 

== Notes ==

* Looking at the social and economic mechanisms through which economic openness may affect social welfare policy.

 

=== A First Look at the Results ===

* Welfare states of North Western Europe were relatively immune to the undermining effects of economic globalization

* Strongest negative impact of globalization on social welfare policies is found in Latin America

* All the cases share important similarities:

** All the mid-income countries and regions saw in the last generation significant advances in democratization

** All increased their openness to the international economy

* Results of cross-regional inquiries = two first-order conclusions

** 1) The variability of outcomes implies that the advances of international economic integration during the past two decades do not constitute a development that defines the future of social welfare policy worldwide

** 2) Politics makes a decisive difference for the consequences of economic globalization for social policy in a give country

*** Yet within these constraints politics does seem to make a difference

 

=== Causal Mechanisms Shaping Social Policy ===

* Examining the link between openness to the international economy and the extent of welfare policy

 

==== The Efficiency Theory ====

* Welfare state policies make economies less efficient in international competition

* The claim that economic openness is at odds with generous social provision

* Though economic opening does seem to have a strong negative impact on social welfare policy

* Regardless, politics still matters

 

==== The Compensation Hypothesis ====

* Economic openness induces social protection measures

* Puts politics at the center of attention

* Supported by positive correlations

 

==== The Hypothetical Sequence Mode ====

* Makes clear that compensation policies must not be taken for granted and conceived as an automatic or modal response.

* Look at this again closely – unclear

 

=== Integration with the Classic Theories of the Welfare State ===

* Neither the efficiency thesis, nor the compensation thesis seems by itself to be a major determinant of welfare state development

 

=== The Cases Revisited: Openness and Domestic Conditions===

==== Latin America ====

==== Spain and Portugal ====

==== Eastern Europe and Russia ====

==== South Korea ====

 

=== Some Broader Reflections ===

* Confirmation of earlier research that “Long-lasting structural features of society and politics, which typically have deep roots in history, shape and constrain current political action.”

 

=== On the Value of Comprehensive Welfare States ===