Analysing Social Policy Concepts and Language: Comparative and Transnational Perspectives

Editat de Daniel Béland, Klaus Petersen
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Social policy scholars and practitioners have long employed concepts such as “welfare state” and “social security”—but where do these concepts come from and how has their meaning changed over time? What characterizes social policy language in different places, and how do some social concepts travel between them? Addressing such questions in a systematic manner, the contributors to this collection analyze the concepts and language used to describe contemporary social policy. Combining detailed chapters on particular countries with broader comparative chapters, the book offers a variety of perspectives on just what we mean when we use these terms.
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ISBN-13: 9781447306436
ISBN-10: 1447306430
Pagini: 272
Dimensiuni: 152 x 229 x 20 mm
Greutate: 0.52 kg
Editura: Policy Press at the Univ of Bristol
Colecția Policy Press

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All contributors to this volume adequately note that within conceptual history studies of social policy are quite rare, and hence pursue an extremely wide scope – old and new “worlds of welfare”, nation-states and international organizations at the same time. The book tackles many of the problems that historical institutionalists have been facing with regards to the role of ideas in shaping politics, being at the same time sensitive to the role of agency. At the same time, there is however the lingering sense, as in other historical institutionalist studies, that change is not fully explained. All contributors rightly note the lack of awareness to language in existing research, but do not always go themselves beyond a type of genealogical history of certain concepts in social policy appearance. This does not however at all detract from the fantastic value of this study. For a full length review see -

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Introduction: Social Policy Concepts and Language
   ~ Daniel Béland and Klaus Petersen
Social Policy Language in Denmark and Sweden
   ~ Nils Edling, Jørn Henrik Petersen &
Klaus Petersen
The Changing Language of Social Policy in Hungary and Poland
   ~ Zsófia Aczél, Dorota Szelewa & Dorottya Szikra
Languages of “Social Policy” at “the EU level”
   ~ Jean-Claude Barbier
The OECD’s Search for a New Social Policy Language: From Welfare State to Active Society
   ~ Rianne Mahon
The Discursive Power of International Organisations: Social Policy Language and Concepts in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
   ~ Antje Vetterlein
Original and Imitated or Elusive and Limited? Towards a Genealogy of the Welfare State Idea in Britain
   ~ Daniel Wincott
Social Policy Concepts and Language in France
   ~ Daniel Béland
The Language of Social Politics in Finland
   ~ Pauli Kettunen
Germany: Constructing the ‘Win-Win’ Society
   ~ Stephan Lessenich
Conceptual Development of Welfare and Social Policy in Japan
   ~ Toshimitsu Shinkawa and Yuki Tsuji
Transition to the ‘Universal’ Welfare State: The Changing Meaning of “Welfare State” in Korea
   ~ Huck-ju Kwon
The Dutch “Caring State”
   ~ Kees van Kersbergen and Jaap Woldendorp
Panacea, Problem or Perish: Social Policy Language in New Zealand
   ~ Neil Lunt
Evolving Social Policy Languages in Spain: What did Democracy and EU Membership Change?
   ~ Ana M. Guillén & David Luque
Social Policy Language in the United States
   ~ Jennifer Klein, Daniel Béland & Klaus Petersen
Conclusion: Comparative Perspectives on Social Policy Language
   ~ Klaus Petersen & Daniel Béland


“This collection starts from the observation that both concepts deployed by social policy communities vary across space and time and that the same word rarely has a consensual definition across national cases.”

“This collection provides a fine overview of a neglected area: the use of language in social policy, in which the authors ask what impact words and framing have on the substance of social policy.”

“A must-read for all those interested in the political power of ideas. Both transnational and historical, these explorations of the languages of social policy and welfare reform are as innovative as [they are] compelling.”

“Together, Béland and Petersen draw attention to the foundations of social policy and sketch the rudiments of a new research agenda for social policy scholars. The book is a rich and useful volume for anyone interested in comparative social policy and for those concerned with the role of ideas in the history and politics of social policy.”

“Béland and Petersen’s edited volume impresses not just by its vast spatial scope, but also by its analytical depth.”

“A pioneering achievement. . .This edited volume stands out for its abundance of material results on the historical development and national differences in social policy language.”