The Modern Welfare State Essay

The Modern Welfare State Essay

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Introduction
Article 25 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, (UNDHR) legitimizes the socio-economic rights of citizens of all nations as stated below:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control” (Hartley Dean; 2004).
The human subject is endemically vulnerable and to survive requires collective organized mechanism for mutual cooperation and support (Hartley Dean; 2004). To manage this endemic vulnerability the human subjects form this collective organized mechanism they call governments that would be responsible for fostering and regulating that mutual cooperation and support (welfare). It is this process of the increasing role of the state or the government in social welfare (Gladstone; 2000) that has given rise to the concept of the welfare state.
Gladstone (2000) has traced the foundations of the modern welfare state (at least in British politics) to the period between 1884 and 1914. To him this period witnessed a pivotal change both in ideas and actions as it saw “a re-negotiation of the relationship between state and citizen in matters of welfare and well-being. And in the process of that re-negotiation, many issues were raised which have become the essentials of twentieth century politics…” He cites these issues to include
1. Relations between central government and local authorities;
2. The financing of an expanding state and the burden of taxation;
3. The rights and responsibilities of citiz...


... middle of paper ...


...nts were compensated for the loss of the breadwinner.
Though there is no precise statistical data on the number of people who benefited from the social security schemes under Ahidjo, payment of benefits was prompt. Also civil servants salaries were paid in time and the administrative “bottlenecks” which made payments slow and lengthy was eliminated. Dropout from schools was also very low because poverty was kept low. Parents could afford to sponsor their children to school and provide them with their necessities. The absence of early pregnancy, financial viability and good health were some of the reasons for the relatively low dropout from school during the 1970s. University and higher education were free with bursaries that covered accommodation; stipends, food and an allowance. There was the distribution of milk; rice and vegetable oils at postnatal clinics.

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