The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology offers a comprehensive and contemporary look at this evolving field of study. The focus is on political life itself and the chapters, written by a highly-respected and international team of authors, cover the core themes which need to be understood in order to study political life from a sociological perspective, or simply to understand the political world. The two volumes are structured around five key areas: PART 1: TRADITIONS AND PERSPECTIVES PART 2: CORE CONCEPTS PART 03: POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND MOVEMENTS PART 04: TOPICS PART 05: WORLD REGIONS This future-oriented and cross-disciplinary handbook is a landmark text for students and scholars interested in the social investigation of politics.

Welfare State

Welfare State
Filipe Carreira da Silva

Introduction

The welfare state refers to the various welfare programmes that can be found in most developed democratic countries. Social welfare provision is not to be confused with the principle of the rule of law. Historically, authoritarian regimes with arbitrary political decision-making procedures have implemented more or less generous schemes of welfare provision. The welfare state is a part of a much broader state apparatus responsible for the political decision-making process, the administration of justice and security, among various other areas of governmental intervention (economy, environment, etc.). This state apparatus can be designated as a ‘model of state'.

Referring to the state apparatus as a whole, models of state are broader ideal-types than welfare state ...

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