In the United States, ’welfare‘ and the politics of welfare – cash assistance for families, generally female-headed single-parent families with children – have been treated as a separable realm of policy, and too often as synonymous with all of anti-poverty policy.
This policy brief argues that the traditional social contract has fragmented, unable to stand firm in the face of multiple centrifugal pressures. It suggests that labour markets now operate in the absence of an overarching institutional structure that satisfactorily balances employee demands for decent work with employer demands for organizational efficiency and flexibility.
Many social security institutions are in the process of reforming their disability benefit programmes in an effort to reduce historically high numbers of beneficiaries on the rolls.
This brief will discuss the causes of this high recipient rate and will describe current disability benefit reform measures aimed at addressing the problem. It will then explore the policy reasons behind these different reform measures and examine how different types of reform measures might best address those policy concerns.
There exists a widespread conviction that pension protection, along with many other social benefits, is slowly being eroded as responsibility for insurance and the associated costs are shifted steadily from government and employers to individual citizens and their family members.
But was there really a ‘golden age’ of pension protection? If so, what are the causes that undermined these guarantees, and what are the policy parameters and defining characteristics that have shaped pension policies during the last couple of decades?
This report provides both a record and a critical assessment of the first workshop of the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society Programme on The Social Contract Revisited: The Modern Welfare State. The workshop was held in Oxford on 18-20 April 2007.