Welfare State

The welfare state represents an instrument used by governments seeking to protect their population against possible risks and vulnerabilities. The concept of a welfare state has been highly controversial in the social science literature, with definitions focusing on a narrower set of welfare programs rather than broader institutional arrangements. The specific contexts of welfare states differ across countries, as do the patterns of their development and change. In the United States, for example, the welfare state often refers to a collection of social welfare programs designed to provide a “helping hand” to those in demonstrated economic need. In many other high-income, and especially Nordic, countries, it represents programs and policies that seek to affect the aggregate social welfare with broader meaning and significance. While high-income ...

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