Characteristics of ‘conservative' welfare states

August 15, 2015 User 1

A LEVEL SOCIOLOGY A*GRADE MODEL ESSAY EXCERPT

Given that welfare states are normally associated with left of centre governments, and the supposed hostility of conservative right wing parties toward high levels of state intervention, the term ‘conservative welfare states' seems somewhat of an anomaly. Nonetheless, there are definite examples of conservative states that not only refrain from fighting the welfare state but actually encourage the dependence of citizens on the government. This can be traced back to the Bismarckian ‘corporatist' system of 19th century Germany, in which it was seen as in the interests of the state to look after the welfare of its citizens. This type of welfare state (in its extreme form) is less about reducing inequality and improving citizens lives than it is maintaining the status quo – a hierarchical system based on a culture of dependence (Esping-Anderson, 1990). Conservative welfare states are often religious and/or nationalist in nature, with a strong emphasis on family values. Epitomising such characteristics is arguably George Bush's current reign. Despite initial cuts in public expenditure, government spending has actually increased faster under Bush than it did under Bill Clinton, with an increase of almost 33%. The religious aspect of Bush's conservative system is illustrated with reference to his 2001 pledge to give billions of dollars to faith-based charities. Accepting the inevitability of ‘big government' (and thus the end of Conservative emphasis on cutting spending), the republican government under Bush has prioritised public spending partly according to religious preferences. Therefore, a ‘conservative' welfare state is one which uses welfare as a control mechanism, to advance a particular way of thinking – for instance religion, nationalism – on its citizens.

background

Have you thought about online lessons?

Online tuition gives you access to brilliant tutors across the country
Connect one-to-one with a tutor or share your lesson with a group for 50% of the tutor's hourly rate! Find a Tutor for One-to-One Find an Online Study Group

Want to know more?

Visit User's profile to find out more and send a message.

Visit User's Profile

Resources others found helpful

CREATE YOUR FIRST WEBSITE IN 5 MINUTES

A glimpse into HTML

learn more

Notting Hill and Ealing School Past Paper (Maths)

A maths past exam from 2008 for Notting Hill and Ealing School, part of the London Independent …

learn more

Exam Preparation

Getting ready for exams is about more than just being buried in books!
10 

learn more

UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge

Interesting maths questions for students

learn more

Free resources, revision notes and past papers for students

Find revision guides, exam papers and sample essays amongst hundreds of free resources available to students.

Find resources any subjects

Maths resources | Science resources | Music resources | Spanish resources | English resources | French resources