Beyond Welfare State Models

Beyond Welfare State Models

Transnational Historical Perspectives on Social Policy

Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Pauli Kettunen and Klaus Petersen

Welfare state models have for decades been the gold standard of welfare state research. Beyond Welfare State Models escapes the straitjacket of conventional welfare state models and challenges the existing literature in two ways. Firstly the contributors argue that the standard typologies have omitted important aspects of welfare state development. Secondly, the work develops and underlines the importance of a more fluid transnational conceptualisation. As this book shows, welfare states are not created in national isolation but are heavily influenced by transnational economic, political and cultural interdependencies. The authors illustrate these important points of criticism with their studies on the transnational history of social policy, religion and the welfare state, Nordic cooperation within the fields of social policy and marriage law, and the transnational contexts of national family policies.

Chapter 6: The Lutheran Nordic welfare states

Pirjo Markkola

Subjects: social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, welfare states

Extract

Pirjo Markkola What is the role of Lutheranism in the history of the Nordic welfare states? Since the 1990s, this question has gained more attention not only in welfare research but also in public debates in the Nordic countries. During the economic recession of the 1990s, Finnish theologians addressed the issue, suggesting that the Nordic welfare state is based on Lutheran heritage; therefore, the church should defend the Nordic model of welfare provision. This was declared explicitly by the Lutheran bishops who published their statement Towards the Common Good (1999; Salonen et al. 2000) on the future of the welfare society. Moreover, Nordic welfare research has been challenged by some historians and social scientists who argue that the character of the Nordic welfare states can be understood only if it is studied as a product of a long historical process. According to them, Lutheranism forms an important thread in this process. Yet these scholars represent only a minority within Nordic welfare research; those in the mainstream have not been particularly concerned about the religious dimensions of welfare policies. In this chapter I present discussions on the relationship between Lutheranism and the Nordic model of welfare provision and point out some issues for future research. My approach is based primarily on historiography. I first give a brief account of the ways in which the impact of religion was introduced into the study of Nordic welfare policies. Second, I take a look at the historical relationship between the state and the church...

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