Gosta-Esping Andersen, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. (1989).


Summary: _ Key argument is organized around the concept of _decommodification,_ which is used to designate the function of social rights in a capitalist society to make employees’ living standards independent of pure market forces. The extent and way which contemporary welfare states accomplish this is the yardstick by which regimes are typologized and evaluated. The OECD countries cluster into three types: conservative, liberal and social-democratic. Another important argument: the welfare state must not only be analyzed as the outcome of historical forces, but also as an agency of social stratification and ‘an active force in ordering social relations. Suggestion of a virtuous feedback loop.

Liberal Welfare regimes: Market is dominant, role of the state is residual (United States)

Corporatist-Statist Regimes: The roles of the state is positive but designed to maintain traditional values and social structures (Conservative, Austria and Germany)

Social-Democratic Regimes: Seek to emancipate people from market forces by the development of social rights in a universalistic system of welfare (Scandanavian model, Sweden)

Unsurprisingly, decommodification is least in the liberal regimes, most in the social democratic regimes, and the corporatist regimes fall in the middle