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Culture and the Politics of Welfare: Exploring Societal Values and Social Choices

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DatePublished - 22 Dec 2014
Number of pages140
PublisherPalgrave Pivot
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)9781137457509
ISBN (Print)9781137457486

Abstract

Do different countries have different societal values? Can we measure such differences empirically? Do such differences impact on political debates, particularly when competing social policy choices are value laden? Do these differences result in different policy choices being made? Drawing on evidence from a wide range of international datasets, Culture and the Politics of Welfare offers an in-depth examination of such questions in order to uncover the role culture plays in shaping welfare states. It suggests new ways in which cross-national differences in culture might be measured and, using a range of approaches, utilizes these measures to explore the role culture plays in shaping differences in social policy frameworks across high income countries. The authors conclude that cultural differences between nations are an important factor in explaining variations in social policy frameworks, arguing that we should bring culture back into the mainstream of comparative welfare state debates.

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