A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Second Edition
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A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy, Second Edition

Edited by Patricia Kennett

The current context of social policy is one in which many of the old certainties of the past have been eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, domestic preoccupation of social policy has made way for a more integrated, international and outward approach to analysis which looks beyond the boundaries of the state. It is in this context that this Handbook brings together the work of key commentators in the field of comparative analysis in order to provide comprehensive coverage of contemporary debates and issues in cross-national social policy research.
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Chapter 3: Globalization and the decline of ‘social protection by other means’: the transformation of welfare regimes in Australia, Japan and Eastern Europe

Ramesh Mishra


This chapter considers the consequences of globalization for patterns of welfare identified in the literature as ‘social protection by other means’ (SPM) (Castles, 1989). SPM refers to the fact that there are functional alternatives to the institutions typical of the Western welfare state, notably social insurance programmes for income security and medical care, and demand management policies to maintain employment. SPM, although not considered as a part of the formal system of social protection, nonetheless may perform broadly similar functions, viz. those of providing economic security and maintaining living standards. In this chapter the implications of globalization for SPM are examined in three different settings: Australia, Japan and the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Each of these represents a system of welfare that differs significantly from what may be called the ‘mainstream’ post-World War II Western welfare state. In other words what we are exploring here is the transformation of three different welfare systems or ‘regimes’, viz. the Antipodean or the ‘wage-earners’ welfare state’ represented by Australia, the East Asian or the productivist represented by Japan and the state socialist represented by the CEE countries, in the course of their encounter with globalization. Although post-socialist countries vary a good deal in terms of their economic, political and social conditions as well as the nature of transition from state socialism they have shared certain institutional patterns characteristic of state socialism.

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