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By Patricia Kennett

The present context of social coverage is one during which some of the outdated certainties of the earlier were eroded. The predominantly inward-looking, family preoccupation of social coverage has made means for a extra built-in, overseas and outward method of research which appears past the bounds of the country. it really is during this context that this guide brings jointly the paintings of key commentators within the box of comparative research with the intention to offer finished insurance of latest debates and matters in cross-national social coverage study. Organised round 5 issues, this notable quantity explores the contextual, conceptual, analytical and processual points of project comparative social examine. within the first half, the authors are serious about de-centring the nation and increasing the epistemological framework in which cross-national research is explored. In elements II and III, the point of interest is at the conceptual and theoretical frameworks for analysing social coverage cross-nationally, whereas half IV examines the daily fact of getting ready for and undertaking cross-national research. within the ultimate part, the authors spotlight carrying on with and rising topics and matters that are of specific relevance to figuring out the modern social global. foreign in scope, this authoritative guide provides unique innovative examine from top experts and should develop into an essential resource of reference for a person drawn to comparative social learn. it is going to additionally turn out a invaluable learn reduction for undergraduate and postgraduate scholars from various disciplines together with social coverage, sociology, politics, city reports and public coverage.

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Former Eastern bloc countries have increasingly been faced with conditionality on loans and in this new competitive climate have tended to see social protection as a burden on taxpayers, business and industry. Since the late 1970s, in many countries in the global South, attempts to improve health and social welfare provision have been undermined by debt and structural adjustment policies dictated by the ‘realities’ of global economic competition. It is well documented that welfare reform, or cutbacks more generally, work to transfer the burden of care from the public to the private sphere and, thus, often have a disproportionate impact on women.

However, the picture is complicated somewhat by issues of ethnicity and class. It is also evident that many of the changes and transformations taking place have gender-specific impacts that belie the neoliberal view of globalization as expanding the realm of ‘opportunity’ and ‘choice’, breaking down traditional forms of authority and challenging conventional ideas about gender roles and expectations. Globalization, liberalization and the move to free market economies in many countries is rewarding people with the skills to take advantage, but it is increasing inequalities, insecurities and risks.

In all three regards, welfare regimes have become more post-national. Paradoxically, this often leads to an enhanced role for national states in controlling the interscalar transfer of these powers – suggesting a shift from sovereignty to a primus inter pares role in intergovernmental relations. The post-national moment of economic and social policy restructuring is complex because of the proliferation of scales and the relativization of scale with which it is associated. There are clear differences among the triads here.

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