The Antipodean social laboratory, labour and the transformation of the welfare state

Lloyd Cox*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Australian and New Zealand welfare states have undergone dramatic transformations since the early 1980s. This has led some commentators to redeploy the 'social laboratory' metaphor widely used to describe Australasia at the turn of the 19th century. This article analyses the disjunctures in Australia's and New Zealand's experience of transforming the welfare state, and seeks to account for them. Drawing inspiration from comparative political sociology, it suggests that the differences can be explained with reference to variations in the political-economic starting point of transformation, variations in the institutional context of political decision-making, and variations in the balance of social and political power in the two countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-124
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

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