THE WELFARE STATE IS POSSIBLE
We conduct research in developing, fixing, and applying the universal welfare state in all societies, especially in developing countries.
We aim to regularly hold an international conference to gather and share ideas on the universal welfare state with people from across cultures, countries, and disciplines.
We will be an online platform and community that support anyone who wants to publish their academic papers, reviews, and articles talking about the idea of the universal welfare benefits.
We plan to organise workshops and forums that will transfer our findings and research materials to a developing community as we believe that the welfare state is possible everywhere.
Background & Reasons
THE RISE OF NEOLIBERALISM & THE WELFARE STATE
As a result of the global expansion of neoliberalism and its overexploitation since the late of the 20th century, a workfare regime has drastically occupied every state of an individual’s life. The capital growth of international financial and services has transformed the rights of democratic citizens into a paid-membership and an entrepreneurial subject. The basic welfare such as education, healthcare and secured pension are increasingly commoditised hence the majority of people are required to pay and invest in their basic needs which were previously provided by a state. On the other hand, the rise of market liberalisation generates the monopolisation of the dominating 1%. A small number of elites has polarised the political and economic resources under the logic of privatisation and individualisation.
There Is No Alternative (Tina) –the popular phase raised during the dawn of neoliberalism in the 1980s manifested the idea of self-responsibility minimising the role of the state in securing people's quality of living. The ruling neoliberal conservative group claimed that the universal and comprehensive welfare state was the cause of economic regression and inefficient in protecting unemployment. Right-wing governments thus made an effort to diminish the welfare state in their countries and brought back a classic liberal economics approach in which social protection and proper welfare rights were significantly compromised as appeared in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. During the 1990s, the misname political parties such as Social Democrat and Labour Party in Western Europe introduced the Third-Way Scheme by compromising the welfare-state policy with market-oriented and mean-test welfare. The consequence of the third-way system exhibits problems for several decades later. High-cost but low-quality welfare provisions have eventually replaced the universal and comprehensive welfare state.
Mainstream economists who support neoliberal rationalities regularly produce a narrative to attack welfare-state countries. Most of the explanations predicted that the Nordic welfare state which was a prominent model of universal benefits would dilapidate since the 1990's economic crisis in Sweden. However, it has been almost three decades that the Nordic model has proved that the universal and comprehensive welfare state is not only efficient amid the globalisation of the world economy but it also gradually encourages economic creativity and crucially enhances human rights. The evolution of the welfare state continuously proceeds regardless of a compromise with neoliberalism as it was earlier predicted.
For this reason, our research centre, newly founded in September 2018, aims to establish and support the new possibility of the universal and comprehensive welfare state to encounter the deceptive discourse produced by neoliberal economists. Our fundamental goal is to propose that the universal and comprehensive welfare state is possible all over the world which ultimately leads to an ideally democratic politics and economics. More importantly, our centre also expects to introduce a set of the new comprehension of the welfare-state management to developing countries.