Both vehemently protected and attacked in equal measure, the welfare state as an idea and as a policy agenda remains as relevant as ever. It refers not only to a program of social welfare and the provision of social services, but also to a model of the state and the economy. According to Offe (1984), the welfare state in advanced capitalist economies is a formula that consists of the explicit obligation of the state apparatus to provide assistance and support to those citizens who suffer from specific needs and risks characteristic of the market society, and it is based on a recognition of the formal role of labor unions in both collective bargaining and the formation of public policy. Although actively dismantled in recent decades as globalization and neoliberalism have taken hold of much of...

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