• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

has welfare state suceeded

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Has the welfare state succeeded? The term "welfare state" refers to the provisions made by a state intended to protect its citizens from social problems - principally ill health, unemployment, poor housing and lack of access to education. This essay will study the British experience of the welfare state and its initial aims and consider whether its modern form has succeeded in fulfilling them. Welfare provision is characterised, in Fulcher and Scott's view (1999/2003), by a varying amount of compromise between two polarised viewpoints: the market model, where citizens purchase healthcare, education and the like privately, against the welfare-state model, where the state fulfils welfare needs. Supporters of the market model believe that state welfare "is excessively bureaucratic and therefore inefficient" (Taylor et al, 1995/2005: 155). Pre-Industrial Britain had had no welfare state; provision was made on a local scale, typically at parish level, and was administered in the main by family with some assistance from religious bodies. The 1601 Poor Law Act was the first nationalised welfare legislation; people were tied to a particular parish to receive welfare. Despite the Act provision remained patchy and regionally variable (Taylor et al, 1995/2005). As the country's urban population grew in tandem with industrialisation, traditional rural support networks became "largely absent" (Fulcher and Scott, 1999/2003: 826). The deprivation suffered by the exploding urban working classes, coupled with fear of civil unrest, encouraged the ruling classes to formulate nation-wide strategies for welfare provision, expressed in the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. ...read more.

Middle

The Governments intervention in society throughout the First World War "prepared the way for a more state-managed form of capitalism." (Fulcher and Scott, 1999/2003: 832) The inter-war years saw long-term structural unemployment, economic depression and housing shortages. The Second World War meant a continuation of state intervention in welfare provision, while "civil defence brought social classes together" (Timmins, 1995: 34). It was into this climate of national unification against adversity that William Beveridge's ideas "provided the framework of the modern welfare state" (Taylor et al, 1995/2005: 155). His report, published in 1942, made recommendations for a national system of initiatives which would slay the "five giants" of social deprivation: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. The report was based on universal principles. Every citizen would be granted benefits simply by dint of their citizenship. The National Insurance Act of 1946 was "the core of the Beveridge report: state-run insurance, paid for by employers, employees and the general taxpayer, from cradle to grave" (Timmins, 1995: 135). Following Keynesian ideas of state intervention in labour markets to ensure full employment, Beveridge's initiatives "argued along the grain of current thinking" (Timmins, 1995: 38) and were massively popular. The report also contained radical proposals for extending healthcare, education and improved housing to the populace - including the creation of the NHS via the National Health Act of 1948. ...read more.

Conclusion

His program took its cue for welfare reform from the "third way" theories of Giddens (1994, cited in Fulcher 1999/2003). The central core of Giddens' "third way" is the idea that citizenship entails obligations as well as rights - chief amongst which is the obligation to undertake paid employment if at all possible and contribute to the state through taxes. Blair's vision of "third way" Britain also encompassed a mixed economy of welfare, in which the state, the market, the voluntary (ie charity) sector and the informal (ie family and friends) sector combined to lessen the impact of the social problems targeted in the Beveridge report. Yet practical reality has not been radically different from Thatcher's reign, with privatisation continuing, benefits being reduced and being linked to participation in employment and training, continued rhetorical insistence on the responsibilities of the individual and "more than a hint of authoritarianism" (Fulcher and Scott, 1999/2003: 850). In its undiluted form - seen until 1979 - the welfare state made huge strides towards achieving its aims. The price of these gains - excessive inflation and high unemployment by the mid-1970s - allowed the contraction of the welfare state and the reversal of much of the progress made at the hands of Conservative governments since 1979. The current Labour administration has continued dismantling the welfare state, whilst masking its actions as a "third way" between market liberal and welfare state principles. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Jury Essay

    In this case the jury refused to convict even if there was no defence. Cases like this help promote fairness and equality in the legal system. Most juries should be impartial, as they are not usually connected to other cases.

  2. Critically evaluate the partial defence of Provocation.

    Instead the judge might choose to explain the law in 'simple language', though Lord Hoffmann was not prepared to lay down a set formula to be followed. In R v Weller the Court of Appeal preferred to ask 'whether the defendant should reasonably have controlled himself.'

  1. How effective were the Liberal Reforms between 1906 and 1914?

    The fact that there were huge exclusions to Liberal legislation adds to the idea that Liberal rule was not very successful with dealing with poverty and need. In conclusion, there are two views on how successful the Liberals were in dealing with the problems of poverty and need.

  2. How successful were the Liberal Reforms of 1906-1914?

    The issue that created the greatest difficulties for the Liberals, was one of the oldest: Ireland. In April, 1912. Armed with new powers of the Parliament Act, Asquith introduced a new Home Bill Rule. Conservative opposition to it was reinforced on this occasion by a popular Protestant movement in Ulster;

  1. Explain Why the Liberal Government Introduced a Series of Reforms Between 1906-1914. What Reforms ...

    especially rich people, having to contribute from their wages in order to pay for the act. This act for quite good because when people were ill, they could continue to afford to live, however it wasn't good as it didn't apply to the workers wives and their children.

  2. Care Values and Practice Module

    with regards to human rights infringements, there is the chance the ruling can be over turned by the European Court in Strasbourg. Question 2 In the case of Tisha it seems that most of her rights have been neglected, under the children's Act 2004.

  1. Examine the extent to which liberal governments of 1906 -1915 succeeded in their aim ...

    This had new regulations relating to the care of children and penalties for, among other things, parental negligence. There were also new regulations relating to the punishment and care of young offenders.

  2. To what extent has the war on terror had an effect on the idea ...

    They were not only afforded the opportunity to monitor their target, they were also given the chance to get possibly one of the best flight training. This raised questions about the accessibility and vulnerability of the United States thus

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work