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Why are policies in Germany so difficult to reform - Essay Example

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Governmental policies in Germany related to social insurance mechanisms are for the purpose of social protection (Palier and Martin, 2007). According to Steinmetz (1993), there were four main social-policy archetypes in Germany during the sixty-five years before the onset of World War I…
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Why are policies in Germany so difficult to reform
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Why are policies in Germany so difficult to reform

Download file to see previous pages... These included the modern poor relief, the Bismarckian paradigm or ‘worker policy’, protocorporatist social policy, and scientific social work. While the Bismarckian paradigm addressed workers as reliant on state policy, the proto-corporatist paradigm considered them as a partial subject. The latest measures taken by ‘conservative corporatist’ or Bismarckian welfare capitalistic regimes of Germany have not been examined through systematic comparative research (Bleses and Seeleib-Kaiser, 2004). However, literature related to welfare state change depicts the development of the Bismarckian family of welfare systems, and their distinction from other regimes. Bismarckian welfare systems confront the greatest challenges and require the most intensive changes. At the same time, there is documentary evidence of the Bismarckian welfare systems’ inability to implement essential reforms, state Palier and Martin (2007). On the other hand, Palier and Martin (2007) argue that in Germany over the last three decades, social insurance programmes have been developed, and changes incorporated in the Bismarckian welfare systems. Initially the emphasis was on raising social expenditure and social contribution towards funding a ‘labour shedding’ strategy to resolve the economic crisis. ...
Two decades ago, researchers began investigating the ways in which mature welfare states including Germany, responded to those pressures. The findings indicated an absence of fundamental policy shifts, along with a significant contradiction that although structural pressurs for change could not be ignored for longer, there was relative stability in welfare state programmes. The two main approaches of historical institutionalism (Pierson 1994, 1996) and welfare regime theory (Esping-Andersen, 1990, 1999) helped to explain the continued stability inspite of the growing requirements for core changes to take place. According to these two approaches, “powerful institutional and electoral mechanisms and regime-specific characteristics prevented comprehensive reforms of European welfare states” (Stiller, 2010, p.9). At the same time, these explanations have been challenged, with increasing numbers of substantial reforms taking place across Europe, from the late 1990s onwards. This generated extensive research interest in the reasons and manner in which welfare state reform occurs. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the well-established Sozialstaat has undergone significant reform efforts, as seen from Katzenstein’s (2005) observation that major reform efforts related to labour markets, economic policymaking and social policy, together with partisan conflict and political stalemate, may have created a “recalibration or a dismantling of Germany’s semisovereign state” (Katzenstein, 2005, p.304). This development is significant because Germany has not demonstrated policy flexibility in the past. In fact, the country’s government had long been regarded as the key example of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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