Welfare State




Globalization Study Guide 3

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Globalization Study Guide 3

1. What is a welfare state? What are the social protections that welfare states provide to their citizens? To what extent has a welfare state become established in the United States?

The welfare state refers to a government form where the main role of the country is to promote and protect the social and economic prosperity of its people. Such states provide unemployment benefits and health insurance so that to reassure employees and enfeeble socialist parties. The US has become a welfare state to some extent, introducing the programs of health insurance for the elderly and the poor such as Medicare and Medicaid.

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2. What does Lechner mean by the retrenchment of the welfare state? Why have many observers have argued that globalization has weakened welfare states and, more specifically, what are the specific global processes they highlight to back up their claim? Why does Lechner believe that the idea that welfare states will surrender to economic forces is implausible?

Many observers claim that globalization has weakened welfare states, leading to their retrenchment. The reason is that international competitive pressure has made governments cut their social expenditures significantly. Lechner believes that the idea that welfare states will surrender to economic forces is implausible because they have not experienced a retrenchment period as such.

3. Do the statistics that Lechner puts forward on government spending on social programs in industrialized countries support the argument that globalization has weakened the welfare state? Why or why not? What is the relationship between trade and welfare spending?

In accordance with statistics, after 1960, government social expenditures did not drop noticeably and even increased in many countries. It demonstrates that globalization has not weakened welfare states. There is evidence that integration into the world economy through financial liberalization and trade is connected with raised government social spending. Thus, globalization may weaken welfare states but not critically.

4. According to Rodrik in Has Globalization Gone Too Far?, what are the three sources of tension between the global markets and social stability?

Globalization produces the three sources of tension. First, reducing barriers to FDI and trade differentiate between groups and countries that cannot benefit from international relations and those who can. It means that some employees who are semiskilled or unskilled become easily replaced in the context of globalization while highly skilled ones are always required. Second, globalization creates conflicts between and within countries over social institutions and national norms. Some countries are unlikely to accept international norms given in a standardized form. Finally, globalization has made the provision of social insurance a challenging task for national governments.

5. What is an education state? What is the singular model of the education state that Lechner argues has diffused across the globe regardless and what accounts for its diffusion?

Globalization has spread the concept that education is a vital task of the state, creating an education state. Nearly 90% of children go to elementary school, even in the poorest countries. Besides, world governments have confirmed formal mass education, applied a standard modern knowledge body, established a state bureaucracy for its control, and set professional requirements for educators, meeting the singular model of an education state. Although real education quality is different from one country to another, singular model diffusion indicates that globalization is for the benefit of state development.

6. What are the three structural changes that have undermined the authority and legitimacy of states in the contemporary period and in what ways did each of these changes diminish state capacities, according to Strange in The Defective State? What evidence does Strange put forward to back up her claim that these structural changes have given rise to (1) a great increase in asymmetries of state authority; (2) the diffusion of state authority from national states to international authorities of various kinds; (3) an absence of authority over territories and economies that were formerly exercised by states?

It is usually said that globalization has undermined the authority and legitimacy of states, diminishing their capacities. The three structural changes are as follows: a change in production (from local to global markets), a change in main production factors, and the increasing rate of scientific changes. It has weakened state power over enterprises within the country as economic power has lifted to corporations beyond national borders. Some authority has moved up to different international organizations. Consequently, countries compete today so that to attract investment for promoting economic development. Globalization has not shifted the focus of state authority onto local or international bodies to a great extent. Rather, it has put an end to such authorities, and responsibilities are no ensured at all. It means an absence of authority over economies and territories that were formerly exercised by states.

7. What does Lechner mean by global governance?

Global governance by Lechner means institutions and norms that come from mutual action to form the global community in a way that does not depend exclusively or directly on countries. Therefore, laws that are not adopted and controlled by a certain government still have some power over people.

8. What are the main transformations that have taken place in international law over the past fifty years, according to Held et al. in Territorial States and Global Politics? What are the alternative principles of global governance that have been provided by the United Nations since its inception? What do Held et al. mean by sovereignty and how has the emergent human rights regime qualified the principle of state sovereignty? What do Held et al. mean by cosmopolitan law and how do the rules of warfare that have been implemented by such agreements as the Geneva Convention exemplify this emergent form of law?

Over the past fifty years, political authority has dissipated, and a multilayered global governance system has appeared. Held et al. emphasize that the main international law transformations do not deny state sovereignty but limit their ability to perform. The United Nations (UN) has provided global governance alternative principles that are grounded on mutual decision-making process between non-governmental organizations and governments. Basically, these are law, openness, and human rights principles. Sovereignty is an independent power over an environmental area, that is to say an officially recognized state that exercises territory control, monitors border movements, and is not in completion with any external and internal bodies over territory control. Cosmopolitan law creates duties and rights, restrictions and powers that go beyond the requirements of national states and have extensive consequences. The Geneva Convention that has implemented warfare rules exemplifies cosmopolitan law, creating a legal framework that minimizes state sovereignty by allowing the accusation of military officers and government officials for human rights violation in international courts, among other things.

9. What do Held et al. in Territorial States and Global Politics mean by political regionalism and what evidence do they put forward to back up their claim that the emergence of global politics and elements of cosmopolitan law have gone hand in hand with new forms of political regionalism? More specifically, what are the forms of authority that the European Union exercises over its member states? What are the five central points the authors make in regard to the changing relations between political globalization and modern states?

Political regionalism means the geographical structure of adjacent countries that cooperate through the official multilateral framework, have noteworthy interaction levels, and share some common traits. The European Union (EU) is a perfect illustration of such a type as it includes officially independent states that have eagerly given a sovereignty degree to the union for achieving the social, political, and economic welfares. Here, global politics and the elements of cosmopolitan law have gone hand in hand. Nonetheless, the EU consists of duplicative and separated political and administrative bodies, that is to say authority. The five central points in regard to the changing relations between contemporary states and political globalization are the following: political community and successful political power are shared at various levels; unified authority and authorized structures put out of place the sovereignty concept as an exclusive, inseparable, and unlimited form of public power; new types of boundaries; divisions between external and internal affairs are no more clear. Therefore, modern political globalization contains political authority deterritorialization.

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