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Welfare and Work in the Open Economy Volume II: Diverse Responses to Common Challenges in Twelve Countries$
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Fritz W. Scharpf and Vivien A. Schmidt

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199240920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199240922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 November 2019

Restructuring the British Welfare State: Between Domestic Constraints and Global Imperatives

Restructuring the British Welfare State: Between Domestic Constraints and Global Imperatives

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 Restructuring the British Welfare State: Between Domestic Constraints and Global Imperatives
Source:
Welfare and Work in the Open Economy Volume II: Diverse Responses to Common Challenges in Twelve Countries
Author(s):

Martin Rhodes (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199240922.003.0002

In the UK, as in Australia and New Zealand, the ‘liberal’ post‐war welfare state was conceived as a minimal safety net under conditions in which full employment was to be ensured by (‘Keynesian’) macroeconomic policies. In the 1950s and 1960s, economic growth was constrained by stop–go policies trying to defend the pound as an international reserve currency in the face of inflationary wage pressures. After the dramatic failure of Labour economic policies in the crises of the 1970s, the (‘monetarist’) Conservative government of the 1980s succeeded in breaking the power of the unions and in stabilizing the currency at the expense of full employment, but did not fundamentally change the structure of the welfare state. After 1997, however, the ‘New Labour’ government set out to adjust the liberal welfare state to conditions in which government economic policies could no longer ensure full employment.

Keywords:   Conservative, full employment, inflation, Keynesianism, Labour, liberal welfare state, macroeconomic policy, monetarism, unions, UK

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