Federalism and Social Policy
Patterns of Redistribution in 11 Democracies
Money and policy reveal the connections between federalism and a strong welfare state
Federalism and Social Policy focuses on the crucial question: Is a strong and egalitarian welfare state compatible with federalism? In this carefully curated collection, Scott L. Greer, Heather Elliott, and the contributors explore the relationship between decentralization and the welfare state to determine whether or not decentralization has negative consequences for welfare. The contributors examine a variety of federal countries, including Spain, Canada, and the United Kingdom, asking four key questions related to decentralization: (1) Are there regional welfare states (such as Scotland, Minnesota, etc.)? (2) How much variation is there in the structures of federal welfare states? (3) Is federalism bad for welfare? (4) Does austerity recentralize or decentralize welfare states? By focusing on money and policy instead of law and constitutional politics, the volume shows that federalism shapes regional governments and policies even when decentralization exists.
“This book provides important insights into the perennial question of whether federalism is compatible with egalitarian social welfare policy. The contributors shed new light on the interactions among institutions, socioeconomic conditions, political coalitions, policy legacies, program designs, and financing arrangements that create more or less compatibility.”
—John Kincaid, Lafayette College
Cover: “Exactitude,” poster by Pierre Fix-Masseau (1929).
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