Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State
Cambridge University Press, 1998 M02 13 - 254 pages
In this book Bo Rothstein seeks to defend the universal welfare state against a number of important criticisms which it has faced in recent years. He combines genuine philosophical analysis of normative issues concerning what the state ought to do with empirical political scientific research in public policy examining what the state can do. Issues discussed include the relationship between welfare state and civil society, the privatization of social services, and changing values within society. His analysis centres around the importance of political institutions as both normative and empirical entities, and Rothstein argues that the choice of such institutions at certain formative moments in a country's history is what determines the political support for different types of social policy. He thus explains the great variation among contemporary welfare states in terms of differing moral and political logics which have been set in motion by the deliberate choices of political institutions. The book is an important contribution to both philosophical and political debates about the future of the welfare state.
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