The OECD and European Welfare States
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The OECD and European Welfare States

  • Globalization and Welfare series

Edited by Klaus Armingeon and Michelle Beyeler

The OECD and European Welfare States comprises 14 country studies considering OECD recommendations and their implementation in Western European welfare states, an analysis of the internal processes in the OECD, a theoretical introduction and a concluding comparative chapter. The overall results show a large degree of consistency in OECD analyses and recommendations, though little efficacy is revealed. The authors of this book have compiled a major contribution to the analysis of the impact of international organisations on national welfare states, widening the scope of traditional analyses of national welfare state development.
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Chapter 3: The OECD as a scientific authority? The OECD's influence on Danish welfare policies

Lars Bo Kaspersen and Maria Svaneborg

Extract

3. The OECD as a scientific authority? The OECD’s influence on Danish welfare policies Lars Bo Kaspersen and Maria Svaneborg DEVELOPMENT OF THE DANISH WELFARE STATE From the late nineteenth century onward, we can detect the emergence of a welfare state in Denmark. The country became a liberal-democratic nationstate with the introduction of the Constitution in 1849. That was the year that Denmark became a Rechtsstaat, with the separation of the state and the market/civil society based on constitutional law. From the 1860s onward we see the first tentative steps towards state intervention in society. The first and very modest attempt to regulate the market was in the arena of housing and planning regulation. The major breakpoint, however, came in the year 1891/92, when the Conservative Prime Minister Jacob S. Estrup introduced a set of social security schemes, although these were still very limited in their scope (old age assistance in 1891, sickness insurance in 1892). These were later followed by, among others, accident insurance (1898), an occupational safety and health act (1901) and an unemployment act (1907). All these acts demonstrate clear state intervention in the market to meet basic needs among various segments of the population. These acts were all passed when bourgeois parties dominated both chambers in the parliament (Nørgaard 2000). Although the Social Democrats were gaining ground rapidly, the timing of the acts demonstrates that at least the foundation of the Danish welfare state was not laid out by the Social Democrats, as Esping-Andersen seems...

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