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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