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Visiting Scholars Seminar: New Research on Europe

Welfare States that Shaped European Party Politics: A Comparative Historical Perspective


March 28, 2018
12:15pm - 1:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
March 28, 2018
12:15pm - 1:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

Historical studies of welfare states have found numerous examples of social security institutions that had decisive impacts on the development of national political structures. By the late 19th century, numerous mutual aid associations had grown up, most often run by the major parties and their ideological or religious allies. In most cases, when governments began establishing welfare states, these mutual aid associations were incorporated into a public scheme. But the pattern of cost and power sharing among unions, employers, and the state varied widely across nations as well as from one institution to another. This paper argues that these institutional arrangements—regarding who paid and managed the funds and who controlled the provision of services and benefits—determined the extent to which the feedback effects of the social security system would reinforce or undermine the mass organizations of the parties.

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