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The Social Contract and the Welfare State: A Comparative Perspective

Abstract : Choosing to look elsewhere makes it possible to take some distance from the assumptions of the literature on the welfare state that tends to consider more or less implicitly that the welfare state both results from and accompanies democracy, and that it requires an autonomous state that has strong “infrastructural power” as well as a formal labour market and functional financial markets. However, in many non-Western countries these prerequisites are far from being met: political regimes are often authoritarian and democracies often dysfunctional; the state has little capacity to penetrate society and implement public policies; the majority of jobs are in the informal sector; and markets—often dominated by oligopolies and monopolies—are strongly linked to political elites by patrimonial and clientelist dynamics. In addition, many developing countries are heavily dependent on international aid, including for their assistance policies for the poorest members of their societies. The articles presented in this Dossier each explore one aspect of these issues, based on countries in Africa, the Middle East, post-Communist Europe, and Latin America.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 12:18:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 8:11:00 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03479396, version 1



Laurence Louer. The Social Contract and the Welfare State: A Comparative Perspective. Les Dossiers du CERI, Décembre 2021, pp.en ligne, 2021. ⟨hal-03479396⟩



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