A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy (Elgar Original by Patricia Kennett

By Patricia Kennett

The present context of social coverage is one during which a few of the outdated certainties of the prior were eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, household preoccupation of social coverage has made approach for a extra built-in, foreign and outward method of research which appears past the limits of the kingdom. it really is during this context that this instruction manual brings jointly the paintings of key commentators within the box of comparative research with a purpose to supply accomplished insurance of up to date debates and matters in cross-national social coverage examine. Organised round 5 subject matters, this notable quantity explores the contextual, conceptual, analytical and processual elements of project comparative social study. within the first half, the authors are interested in de-centring the kingdom and lengthening the epistemological framework by which cross-national research is explored. In elements II and III, the point of interest is at the conceptual and theoretical frameworks for analysing social coverage cross-nationally, whereas half IV examines the day by day fact of getting ready for and undertaking cross-national research. within the ultimate part, the authors spotlight carrying on with and rising subject matters and matters that are of specific relevance to figuring out the modern social international. overseas in scope, this authoritative instruction manual provides unique innovative examine from major experts and may develop into an essential resource of reference for an individual attracted to comparative social study. it is going to additionally end up a necessary learn reduction for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars from quite a number disciplines together with social coverage, sociology, politics, city reports and public coverage.

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5. Multi-level government or multi-level governance? A key concept introduced by scholars and politicians in recent years is ‘multi-level governance’. It is used to capture the denationalization of statehood, the de-statization of politics, and the re-articulation of territorial and functional powers – especially as these trends are developing in the European Union. The fact that it is being used to describe the interaction of three analytically distinct trends (each with its counter-trend) or, at least, to characterize their combined impact, suggests that the concept may obscure as much as it discloses about recent changes.

In some cases this also involves cross-border cooperation among regional, urban or local spaces. In all three regards, welfare regimes have become more post-national. Paradoxically, this often leads to an enhanced role for national states in controlling the interscalar transfer of these powers – suggesting a shift from sovereignty to a primus inter pares role in intergovernmental relations. The post-national moment of economic and social policy restructuring is complex because of the proliferation of scales and the relativization of scale with which it is associated.

States on other levels of state may also try to engage in interscalar management, of course, but even the European Union, the most advanced supranational political apparatus, still lacks the powers and legitimacy to do this to the same extent as national states – especially its larger member states. This does not exclude strategic alliances among states on various scales to Hollowing out the ‘nation-state’ 19 steer interscalar articulation or an eventual new scale of territorial state that has gained the necessary powers and legitimacy to coordinate the proliferating scales of action and to institutionalize new spatio-temporal fixes around this new primary scale.

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