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Unformatted text preview: October Readings 03:57 From Provider to Enabler: the Changing role of the State Change in the role and operation of the state Provider/welfare state to enabling/regulatory one Changes in the state reflect changes in elite thinking, which in turn are shaped by a mix of economic, social and political factors How to understand the changing state Elite attitudes shape the views of significant political figures, which change with the social, political and economic environment Changes may take a lot of time to occur Move from provider to enabler represents a change in state orthodoxy No right view of the state or what the state can do Perceptions and understandings change and we distinguish Changes in principles and assumptions about the operation of the state Changes in organization Changes in practice The old orthodoxy and the postwar provider state Provider state became fully established in the immediate post-war period Managed economy and provided public services Followed Keynesianism, holds that the state should intervene in the economy to ensure sustained economic growth and full employment Changes in taxation Spending on public works and services Reducing or raising the cost of borrowing through manipulating interest rates Central aim of economic policy was to encourage economic growth so as to sustain full employment State provision from the cradle to the grave Citizens have social as well as political and legal rights Welfare rights and universalism is an important aspect of the post-1945 conception of the function of the state High degree of consensus between the parties on these social welfare matters Conventional thinking in both the economic and social spheres envisaged a more substantial role for the state than had previously been considered acceptable Four key features of the post-war provider state Role of providing some of the basic services on which economy depended Bought through nationalization with the growth of the public sector in general made institutions part of a mixed economy Mixed economy private and public Provided a comprehensive range of welfare benefits and public services Provided directly to public through state organization Central government departments Local government Appointed boards and NGOs Subject to a system of accountability based on traditional mechanisms New kind of state had been created but new mechanisms of control and accountability had not been fully developed to match these institutional changes Consensus-seeking style of policy making complemented the broad concenses between policy-seeking elites about...
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2012 for the course POLI 211 taught by Professor Sabetti during the Fall '08 term at McGill.
- Fall '08
- Comparative Politics