Globalization and Welfare States

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Introduction

Globalization has penetrated everywhere of the world and continuously reshaped the economic flow as well as social institutions. There is currently a debate on whether or not there is a conflict between globalization and welfare states. The main feature of welfare states is that governments provide a well comprehensive protection in terms of redistribution, full employment, high social and labour standards, and economic growth by adopting a series of social policies (Yeates, 2007, p.640). Because of new structure of global labour division and pressure to maintain economic competitiveness advantages, Globalization has made this full protection become more expensive for governments and uneconomic to comprehensive strengths of countries. However, this does not necessarily mean the diminishing of ‘welfare’ states as the deepening process of globalization and welfare states are concepts full of dynamics and connotations. As shown in statistical research, welfare states are updating their social policies in order to provide new effective forms of protection to their citizens instead of less engaging in supplying welfare. Moreover, although facing the mutual challenges of globalization, different countries have distinct responses given the special nature of each state. The Canadian new social policy paradigm is going to be reviewed in this paper to reveal how states could minimize the conflict between globalization and essence of welfare states.

Challenge of Global Division of Labour

Globalization refers to the ‘international integration of markets for good, services and capital’ which happens almost everywhere of the world and is usually studied at a global level (Genschel, 2004, p.616). This integration also comes a...

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...d policy decision-makers need to face the challenge not only from changing domestic society but also the global factors. Canada, as a traditional welfare state who has a relatively open economy, is adopting a new social paradigm which gives prominence to the function of education to secure its citizens and maintain its economic competitiveness worldwide. It is an effective way to strive in a global competition era but still less than a perfect model. Someone is still worse off and could not benefit from government shifting social policy. Low-skill workers or those who are poor and difficult to get necessary skill and knowledge to succeed in the society should be given importance to the governments of welfare-states. Traditional social redistribution should become more targeting on specific disadvantaged groups given by stronger economic capacity of welfare states.
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