The Politics of Pensions: A Comparative Analysis of Britain, Canada, and the United States, 1880-1940

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1993 - Business & Economics - 381 pages
By offering a comparative, institutional analysis of how state-supported pensions for the elderly developed in Britain, Canada, and the United States, Ann Shola Orloff makes a profound contribution to understanding the growth of modern social welfare policies. It is not enough, Orloff demonstrates, to simply examine socioeconomic factors in the growth of the welfare state. She argues that welfare policies are shaped as well by the political institutions and processes that are the legacy of state formation and expansion in given nations.
Orloff explains why, when, and how poor relief was replaced by modern social insurance legislation and pensions for the elderly in the first three decades of the twentieth century. She analyzes the long-term social and political transformations that laid the basis for modern social politics: the spread of waged work, the development of New Liberal ideologies, and the expansion and transformation of state administrative capacities. Combining original historical research with the analysis of secondary sources, Orloff's work is an excellent example of the use of comparative and historical methods to answer questions about macropolitical transformation, such as the origin of the welfare state.
The Politics of Pensions outlines an original, interdisciplinary approach that will appeal to a wide variety of readers: political sociologists interested in the state, social workers and specialists in old age policy, and comparative researchers of all disciplines engaged in research on the welfare state.

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Contents

The Problem of Old Age and Modern Social Provision
3
Figures and Tables
39
Explaining the Emergence of Modern Social Provision
41
United States 18801940
64
THE MAKING OF THE SOCIAL QUESTION
93
Starting Point for Modern Social Policy Debates
121
Labor Elites and Social Policy
152
THE BREAK WITH POOR RELIEF AND
189
From the Great Barbeque to Modern
215
From Elitist to Democratic Politics and New Social Provision
240
Belated Breakthrough to Modern Social
269
Conclusion
299
Bibliography
315
Index351
351
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About the author (1993)

Ann Shola Orloff is associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin Madison. She is the coeditor, with Margaret Weir and Theda Skocpol, of The Politics of Social Policy in the United States.

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