Power Resource Theory and the Welfare State: A Critical Approach

Overview

This collection of essays looks at power resources theory (PRT), a groundbreaking approach to political theory that builds upon the existing strengths of Marxist theorizing while addressing its weaknesses. Rather than simply asserting that all social policies in all capitalist societies exist to maintain capitalism and serve the long-term interests of the capitalist class, PRT examines the nature and impact of social policies and the level and types of social inequality in a variety of advanced capitalist ...

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Overview

This collection of essays looks at power resources theory (PRT), a groundbreaking approach to political theory that builds upon the existing strengths of Marxist theorizing while addressing its weaknesses. Rather than simply asserting that all social policies in all capitalist societies exist to maintain capitalism and serve the long-term interests of the capitalist class, PRT examines the nature and impact of social policies and the level and types of social inequality in a variety of advanced capitalist nations. Approaches to social policy and the impacts of these policies vary a great deal from country to country. It is these variations that PRT seeks to account for, focusing on the strengths and organization of the labour movements in various nations.

The editors have compiled essays that examine PRT in general, as well as essays that offer critical analysis of PRT. As existing summations of state theory literature largely omit PRT, this anthology is essential reading for anyone interested in social policy and radical approaches to social welfare.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802071712
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,150,532
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia S. O'Connor is Director of the National Economic and Social Council in Dublin, Ireland.

Gregg Olsen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba.

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Table of Contents

The Iceberg of Power below the Surface: A Preface to Power Resources Theory
Acknowledgments
Contributors
Introduction Understanding the Welfare State: Power Resources Theory and Its Critics 3
Pt. I The Power Resources Perspective: Labour Strength and Welfare Regimes
1 Power Resources Approach vs Action and Conflict: On Causal and Intentional Explanations in the Study of Power 37
2 The Development of Family Policy: A Comparison of Family Benefits and Tax Reductions for Families in Eighteen OECD Countries 70
3 Political Parties and Public Pensions: A Quantitative Analysis 98
4 The Three Political Economies of the Welfare State 123
5 Welfare Expenditure and Policy Orientation in Canada in Comparative Perspective 154
6 Locating the Canadian Welfare State: Family Policy and Health Care in Canada, Sweden, and the United States 183
Pt. II Power Resources Theory: A Critical Approach
7 Gender, Class, and Citizenship in the Comparative Analysis of Welfare State Regimes: Theoretical and Methodological Issues 209
8 Gender and the Development of Welfare Regimes 229
9 Race, Class, and Gender in the U.S. Welfare State: Nixon's Failed Family Assistance Plan 250
10 Labour-Market Institutions and Working-Class Strength 283
11 The Scandinavian Origins of the Social Interpretation of the Welfare State 312
12 Re-modelling Sweden: The Rise and Demise of the Compromise in a Global Economy 339
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