Can the Welfare State Compete?: A Comparative Study of Five Advanced Capitalist Countries

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The authors examine how the USA, Great Britain, France, Sweden and Germany have responded to the increasing challenge of international competition since the mid-1970s. Apart from in Sweden, the pursuit of competitiveness has undermined economic and social citizenship rights, and this has, in Britain and the USA, engendered an assault upon the idea of the welfare state. Solidarity and social discipline will be severely tested if the welfare state is to remain economically and politically viable in a highly competitive modern world.