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The Electoral Consequences of Third Way Welfare State Reforms: Social Democracy’s Transformation and its Political Costs

Journal: International Journal of Business and Applied Social Science(IJBASS) (Vol.4, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 34-37

Keywords : Comparative Policy Analysis; Third Way Welfare State Reforms; Politics; Economics; Social Policies;

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Christoph Arndt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. His book provided a cross-national, comparative policy analysis which “demonstrates that Third Way reforms went against the social policy preferences of social democracy's core voters and indeed produced an electoral setback for social democrats at the ballots.”(Arndt,2013, p.282).This term “Third Way” refers to various political positions which try to reconcile right-wing and left-wing politics by advocating a varying synthesis of right-wing economic and left-wing social policies(Bobbio&Cameron,1997).This book is the eighteenth in the Changing Welfare States series, and provides a comparative study of the electoral consequences of Third Way welfare state reforms. It investigates whether Third Way reforms alienated traditional social democratic core constituents and shed some light on the factors causing variations between countries. The book's main argu-ment is that Third Way reforms indeed produced an electoral setback for social democrats and that the nature of the setback is contingent on the electoral system and the party competition social democrats face when reforming the welfare state (Arndt,2013, p. 24). Regarding the Changing Welfare States series, it is important to note that “the overriding objective of the series is tracing and explaining the full trajectories of contemporary welfare state changes and its outcomes”(Arndt, 2013, p.2). The welfare state may be narrowly described in old school traditional ways, in addressing the “social risks of old age, unemployment, sickness(including the health care system), disability, poverty and inequality in general”, or in new school ways including the “social risks that have arisen mainly due to post-industrialization, such as reconciling work and family life, non-standard employment, and low and inadequate skills”(Arndt, 2013, p. 2).

Last modified: 2018-02-28 17:04:06