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Transformations of the Welfare StateSmall States, Big Lessons$
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Herbert Obinger, Peter Starke, Julia Moser, Claudia Bogedan, Edith Gindulis, and Stephan Leibfried

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296323

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296323.001.0001

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New Zealand: Retrenchment and Reconstruction

New Zealand: Retrenchment and Reconstruction

(p.130) 3 New Zealand: Retrenchment and Reconstruction
Transformations of the Welfare State

Herbert Obinger

Peter Starke

Julia Moser

Claudia Bogedan

Edith Gindulis

Stephan Leibfried

Oxford University Press

Compared with Austria, Denmark, and Switzerland, New Zealand experienced the most radical changes in its economy. No programme was left unscathed by various governments' attempts at retrenchment and reform, and there have been fundamental transformations in some areas. At least up to the 1993 electoral reform, New Zealand was indeed an extreme case on a number of dimensions central to comparative politics. It is important to note that social policy in New Zealand since the mid-1970s has not been just about retrenchment. This chapter shows that the country experienced a turbulent journey, leading from expansion in the 1970s, through moderate, then radical retrenchment in the 1980s and 1990s, to renewed expansion at the beginning of the new millennium.

Keywords:   New Zealand, welfare state, reform, social policy, comparative politics, political economy, retrenchment, health policy, expansion, family policy

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