Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 13, 1998 - Political Science - 254 pages
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In this book Bo Rothstein seeks to defend the universal welfare state against a number of important criticisms which it has faced in recent years. He combines genuine philosophical analysis of normative issues concerning what the state ought to do with empirical political scientific research in public policy examining what the state can do. Issues discussed include the relationship between welfare state and civil society, the privatization of social services, and changing values within society. His analysis centres around the importance of political institutions as both normative and empirical entities, and Rothstein argues that the choice of such institutions at certain formative moments in a country's history is what determines the political support for different types of social policy. He thus explains the great variation among contemporary welfare states in terms of differing moral and political logics which have been set in motion by the deliberate choices of political institutions. The book is an important contribution to both philosophical and political debates about the future of the welfare state.
  

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Contents

Speculation and discipline
1
The universal welfare state and the question of individual autonomy
30
Is governance possible?
57
What can the state do? An analytical model
71
Just institutions matter
116
The political and moral logic of the universal welfare state
144
Putting history in order
171
The autonomous citizen and the future of the universal welfare policy
188
Toward a constructive theory of public policy
216
Bibliography
223
Index
249
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About the author (1998)

Bo Rothstein is the August Rohss Chair in Political Science at the Goteborg University in Sweden. Among his publications in English are The Social Democratic State: The Swedish Model and The Bureaucratic Problems of Social Reforms (1996), Just Institutions Matters: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State (Cambridge, 1998), Restructuring the Welfare State (co-edited with Sven Steinmo, 2003) and Creating Social Trust in Post-Socialist Societies (co-edited with Janos Kornia and Susan Rose-Ackerman, 2004).

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