Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Administering welfare reform

Administering welfare reform: International transformations in welfare governance

Paul Henman
Menno Fenger
Copyright Date: 2006
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Administering welfare reform
    Book Description:

    While reforms of welfare policies have been widely analysed, the reform of welfare administration has received far less attention. Using empirical case studies, this book provides significant new insights into the way welfare administration is being internationally transformed. Particular attention is given to the effect on welfare clients, staff and agencies. Administering welfare reform presents a critical analysis of governance practices in welfare administration and examines shifts in the participants, practices and processes of welfare administration. It presents original empirical case studies that highlight the effects of reforming welfare governance on welfare subjects, staff and agencies and provides a much-needed international and comparative perspective of changing welfare governance. This book is aimed at scholars and advanced students of sociology, social policy, economics, public administration and management, as well as social policy practitioners and service delivery workers.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-153-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. List of tables
    (pp. v-v)
  4. Preface
    (pp. vi-vii)
    Paul Henman and Menno Fenger
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. List of abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  7. Notes on contributors
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  8. ONE Introduction: administering welfare reform
    (pp. 1-18)
    Menno Fenge and Paul Henman

    After a century of relatively unchallenged growth of the welfare state, the last decade of the 20th century marked the start of the era of welfare reform. The Reagan and Thatcher administrations appeared to be among welfare reform’s frontrunners in the 1980s, but throughout the remaining years of the 20th and the start of the 21st century, welfare reform has been a prominent item on the agenda of almost every government in the modern democratic capitalist world. Among the developments that are said to have triggered welfare reform processes are economic globalisation, the development of new (information and communication) technologies,...

  9. TWO Welfare reform as governance reform: the prospects of a governmentality perspective
    (pp. 19-42)
    Paul Henman

    How might we think about the nature of welfare reform and its administration? This chapter, and this book more generally, argue that an understanding of welfare reform cannot be achieved without reference to its administration. Welfare administration is the very locus in which the operation and effect of policy is defined and governmental power relations flowing through welfare agencies, staff and claimants constituted. This chapter begins with this perspective, by arguing that welfare reform is governance reform. Such a perspective requires a coherent analytical framework to advance our critical understanding of this topic. To this end, this chapter advocates the...

  10. Part One: Participants:: reforming the agents of welfare delivery

    • THREE State–third sector partnership frameworks: from administration to participation
      (pp. 45-72)
      Deena White

      Since the end of the last century, throughout much of the world, institutional relations between welfare states and the third sector, otherwise known as the voluntary and community sector, have been undergoing a multifaceted transformation. One apparent sign of change has been the signing of formal, national ‘partnership’ agreements or policies, to regularise relations between governments and third sectors. Non-governmental, non-profit, voluntary or grassroots organisations have always played significant roles in most welfare states. However, in the past, they tended to occupy fragmented or unrelated social spaces, only partially and unevenly regulated by the state; their relations with governments and...

    • FOUR Shifts in welfare governance: the state, private and non-profit sectors in four European countries
      (pp. 73-92)
      Menno Fenger

      As we have seen in other chapters of this book, the administration and implementation of welfare involve a wide variety of state organisations, private commercial organisations and non-profit organisations. However, the roles and positions of these state, private and non-profit organisations in administering and implementing social policies vary significantly between countries. This variation is commonly attributed to the differences in welfare regimes (Esping-Andersen, 1990). However, in the era of welfare reform, everything is in flux. This includes the role and position of state, private and non-profit actors in social policies. The concept of governance, which is widely gaining popularity in...

    • FIVE From charity to ‘not-for-profit’: changes in the role and structure of voluntary social service agencies
      (pp. 93-114)
      Jo Barnes

      From 1984 to 1999, New Zealand underwent 15 years of significant welfare reform and welfare state restructuring. In the US, President Clinton took office in 1993 declaring his commitment ‘to end welfare as we know it’ and in 1996 signed into law the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (see Chapter Six of this book). This Act dramatically changed the welfare system. In the wake of these reforms, this chapter discusses changes regarding welfare governance as they relate to the role of the third sector or voluntary social service agencies. The chapter presents the results of a study into...

  11. Part Two: Practices:: the welfare governance of street-level practices

    • SIX ‘Ending welfare as we know it’: welfare reform in the US
      (pp. 117-136)
      Joel F. Handler

      When President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law in 1996, he fulfilled his campaign promise to ‘end welfare as we know it’. In the US, the term welfare most commonly refers to the public assistance programme for poor single mothers and their children. Although this chapter will focus on changes made to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the cash aid programme for poor single mothers and their children, significant changes have also been made or are being proposed for other welfare programmes, including the social security pension system, government health insurance programmes (Medicaid and Medicare) and unemployment insurance....

    • SEVEN The new governance of Australian welfare: street-level contingencies
      (pp. 137-160)
      Cosmo Howard

      Social policy occupies a central position in contemporary theories of governance. It has become commonplace for theorists to describe particular governing paradigms in terms of their specific welfare arrangements and to analyse shifts in governance by making references to changes in social policy. Most readers will be familiar with the distinction that is often drawn between the post-war welfare state, said to be characterised by universal, institutionalised social entitlements, and the newer neo-liberal state, which is distinguished by residual and disciplinary forms of social policy. One of the distinct features of most theories of the new welfare governance is a...

    • EIGHT The administration of transformation: a case study of implementing welfare reform in the UK
      (pp. 161-182)
      Sharon Wright

      It is relatively uncontroversial to suggest that the delivery of frontline services to the unemployed in the UK has been altered dramatically by a combination of reforms to the substance of policy and changes in the governance arrangements concerning the conditions and mechanisms of implementation. However, the significance and impact of these reforms have tended to be either evaluated at a macro-level or inferred from the preponderance of discourse surrounding change. The aim for this chapter is to provide a microlevel analysis of unemployment policy in practice that assesses the significance of change, along with its extent and character, from...

  12. Part Three: Processes:: the changing spaces of welfare governance

    • NINE Administering global welfare: public management, governance and the new role of INGOs
      (pp. 185-212)
      Gaby Ramia

      Global governance institutions and scholars of global civil society are acutely aware of the importance of international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) to transnational welfare arrangements (UN, 2004). Yet within these arrangements the role of INGO organisational management principles in determining the effectiveness of transnational welfare is less well understood. Coming to terms with the significance of management calls for a renewed understanding of New Public Management (NPM) and its place within global governance.

      The impact of NPM on national-level non-governmental organisations (NGOs), particularly service-based NGOs, has been subject to significant scrutiny (for example, Ryan, 1999; Alexander, 2000; Considine, 2001; Ramia and...

    • TEN The fight against unemployment as a main concern of European social policy: the implications of a new, local-level approach
      (pp. 213-232)
      Carla Valadas

      Since the beginning of the 1990s, the promotion of employment has been recognised as one of the necessary conditions for a stable European Union (EU) economy. Subsequently, EU member states have been trying to define an integrated and innovative approach in the fight against unemployment. The perceived need for such an approach arises from two sources. First, member states have increasingly recognised the structural nature of unemployment. Second, member states’ national policies have failed to overcome the evolving but persistent problem of unemployment and respond to new social demands.

      The European Employment Strategy comprises initiatives and events promoting efforts to...

    • ELEVEN From government fragmentation to local governance: welfare reforms and lost opportunities in Italy
      (pp. 233-256)
      Yuri Kazepov and Angela Genova

      This chapter discusses the impact of new forms of local governance emerging in Italy as a result of welfare reforms that took place from 1990 to 2004. Particular attention is devoted to activation policies — policies aimed at combating the social exclusion of people in a condition of economic and social need by empowering or obligating individuals to attain autonomy from welfare dependency. These policies have been chosen because they represent a relatively innovative attempt in Europe to institutionalise new participatory practices involving multiple actors at the local level. Significantly, these policies have produced new governance arrangements in Italian social policy....

    • TWELVE Reforming welfare governance: reflections
      (pp. 257-278)
      Paul Henman and Menno Fenger

      The implementation and ongoing administration of policies is long regarded as a key factor in the success or failure of public policies. Furthermore, many studies (for example, Mashaw, 1983; Lipsky, 1980; Clarke et al, 2000; Clarke and Newman, 1997) have demonstrated that the way in which public policy is administered significantly contributes to the nature and effects of the welfare state, particularly as they pertain to citizen—state relations. It is therefore surprising that in the proliferation of comparative welfare state studies, the practical and implementational side of welfare has received relatively less attention.

      The chapters in this book have...

  13. Index
    (pp. 279-287)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 288-290)