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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the relationship between welfare systems and social movement activity. It suggests this relationship is not straightforward, due in part to the range of factors that shape particular welfare settlements The chapter begins by looking at the formation of welfare regimes and draws out some general analytical conclusions that reflect on how regimes develop. It proceeds to look at the direct and indirect impact of social movements on particular welfare settlements and then goes on to look at the global “neoliberal” assault on state directed welfare and the responses this has generated from social movements. It ends with a clarion call: the energy of the streets and the social movements, like those of Occupy, and the organization strengths of the trade union movements need to be harnessed for a “defence of welfare” in the face of neoliberal austerity.

Keywords: welfare, welfare regimes, welfare systems, capitalism, neoliberalism, commodification/de-commodification, social movements, Occupy, class struggle, globalization

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