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Inclusive citizenship and degenderization: A comparison of state support in 22 European countries

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JournalSocial Policy and Administration
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Jan 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 24 Feb 2021
Issue number7
Volume55
Pages (from-to)1224-1243
Early online date24/02/21
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper argues that welfare state progress needs to be based upon support for “inclusive citizenship” – the right to care, work and earn. Comparative analyses of welfare have often focused on defamilization to capture these dimensions. But inclusive citizenship requires challenging gender roles in both work (public sphere) and care (private sphere), and thus the paper argues that the concept of degenderization is a more suitable analytical tool. This paper adds to our understanding by operationalizing the concept of degenderization to compare how (far) 22 European countries degenderize. Indeed, it goes further to examine not just how much welfare states degenderize but how – whether they focus on degendering both work and care, crucial for “inclusive citizenship”. To examine how states degenderize, it uses a new way of classifying welfare states by examining policy packages using radar charts. It examines how much they degenderize against a yardstick, using the Surface Measure of Overall Performance approach. Seven welfare types were identified, but none fully supported inclusive citizenship. Indeed, the country clusters identified in this study differ from those found by previous studies, challenging commonly held views about which countries ought to be seen as key exemplars. This reflects the paper's distinctive focus on inclusive citizenship – capturing support for degendering care and work – and that it compares countries on the basis of their policy packages. It also examines how approach to and generosity of degenderization are related to gender equality outcomes.

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© 2021 The Authors. Social Policy & Administration published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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