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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article investigates how the welfare state's critics, their ideas, and advocacy have contributed to institutional change, and most importantly, the substance of that transformation across affluent societies. It starts by outlining the neoliberal critiques of the welfare state advocated by Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. It then examines the thinking and impact of conservative critics, Charles Murray and Lawrence Mead. Moreover, the article reviews social democratic critiques, collectively referred to as the Third Way. The focus on the critics has emphasized the endogenous undercurrents disrupting welfare states as well as the path-shaping capacity of new ideas. The current diagnosis of the relationship between economic growth and social security will face credible challenge: the present does not represent a permanent reconciliation between capital and citizens.

Keywords: welfare state, institutional change, Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, Charles Murray, Lawrence Mead, Third Way, economic growth, social security

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