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“Politics, Values, and the Power of Discourse in the Reform of the Welfare State”

Schmidt, Vivien A. (1999) “Politics, Values, and the Power of Discourse in the Reform of the Welfare State”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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    This paper explores the democratic legitimation of reform of the welfare state by considering how governments actively sought to justify policy change through public discourse, whether by appeals to an existing national value consensus or by selectively emphasizing other values. By focussing on moments of crisis or transition when values are generally made explicit through normative discourse in public debates as opposed to continuing as unquestioned background assumptions embedded in institutional practice, this chapter seeks to offer comparative insights not only into the values that remain central to different polities’ notions of social justice but also into the discourses that appeal to values in their efforts to legitimate policy change. It also considers how the national institutional context and political climate affects the locus of discourse as its effectiveness. Finally, it raises questions about whether there is a new emerging value consensus about the appropriate kinds of policies for a new, less vulnerable, more competitive welfare state in the open economy.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > welfare state
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1999 (6th), June 2-5, 1999
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2006
    Page Range: p. 48
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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