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Book part
Publication date: 13 November 2006

Cynthia M. Jackson, James J. Maroney and Timothy J. Rupert

Increased life expectancies and decreased birthrates have placed enormous financial pressure on the Social Security system. Because significant reforms are needed to…

Abstract

Increased life expectancies and decreased birthrates have placed enormous financial pressure on the Social Security system. Because significant reforms are needed to ensure its financial solvency, our study examines the acceptability of proposals to reform the system. Given the potentially divergent views suggested by prior research, we selected participants from the following four groups (1) younger black taxpayers, (2) younger white taxpayers, (3) older black taxpayers, and (4) older white taxpayers. While there was agreement among the groups on several of the proposals, in general, the differences between the generations were more pronounced than the differences between the racial groups.

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Advances in Taxation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-464-5

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2006

Paul W. Posner

This paper argues that structural and institutional reforms imposed by the military regime and accepted by the Concertación impose substantial impediments to collective…

Abstract

This paper argues that structural and institutional reforms imposed by the military regime and accepted by the Concertación impose substantial impediments to collective action among Chile's popular sectors. In particular, labor market and social welfare policies exacerbate social stratification, deprive the public of vital resources, reinforce workers’ vulnerability to market forces and undermine social trust. These dynamics and the state structures that perpetuate them indicate the state's role in either facilitating or impeding collective action among subordinate segments of the population. They further suggest the negative impact neoliberalism has on the quality of democracy by constraining popular participation.

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Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-437-9

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Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Agnes Blome

What role do people's attitudes toward social policies play for the politics of welfare state reform? This chapter contributes to a growing scholarship on policy…

Abstract

What role do people's attitudes toward social policies play for the politics of welfare state reform? This chapter contributes to a growing scholarship on policy responsiveness in welfare state research with a longitudinal comparative case study of the Bismarckian welfare states of France and Germany. Quantitative analyses of changes in mean attitudes as well as polarization and inequalities of attitudes based on the 1996, 2006, and 2016 waves of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) Role of Government module are triangulated with a thick description of social policy changes. While recommodifying and defamilializing reforms in Germany transformed the welfare state fundamentally, there was more continuity in the French welfare state, in spite of a stronger focus on labor market activation policies. The quantitative results suggest that lower attitudinal stability toward the welfare state in Germany and lower polarization evoked a higher willingness for reform than in France, where more polarized attitudes and overall marginal changes in attitudes gave French governments less maneuverability in adopting reforms. In both countries, I find no evidence for an upper-class bias in policy responsiveness. In sum, my research supports the claim that change in public opinion toward the welfare state and diverging attitudes within societies play a role for the timing and direction of reforms.

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The Politics of Inequality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-363-0

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2012

Ito Peng

The two East Asian developmental states of Japan and South Korea share very similar familialistic male breadwinner welfare regimes. However, in the recent years, both…

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Abstract

Purpose

The two East Asian developmental states of Japan and South Korea share very similar familialistic male breadwinner welfare regimes. However, in the recent years, both countries have made significant social policy reforms that are gradually modulating their familialistic male breadwinner welfare regimes. Both countries have extended public support for the family and women by provisioning, regulating, and coordinating childcare, elder care, and work‐family reconciliation programs. At the same time, labour market deregulation reforms have also made employment more insecure, and created greater pressures on women to seek and maintain paid work outside the home. The purpose of this paper is to compare recent social policy reforms in Japan and Korea and discuss their implications for welfare state changes and gender equality. More specifically, it asks whether this signals the end of the old developmental state paradigm and a shift to a more gender equal policy regime.

Design/methodology/approach

To answer this question, the paper examines recent social policy reforms in conjunction with economic and labour market policy reforms that have also been introduced since 1990.

Findings

The analysis of social and economic policy reforms in Japan and South Korea shows a combination of both progressive and instrumentalist motivations behind social care expansions in these countries. Social care reforms in both countries were responses to the evident need for more welfare and gender equality determined by the structural and ideational changes that were taking place. But they were also a remodelling of the earlier developmental state policy framework. Indeed, social care expansions were not merely timely family friendly social policies that aimed to address new social risks; they were also important complements to the employment policy reforms that were being introduced at the same time. By investing in the family, the Japanese and Korean governments sought to mobilize women's human capital, encourage higher fertility, and facilitate job creation in social welfare and care services.

Originality/value

This paper shows how Japanese and South Korean developmental states might be changing and remodelling themselves in the recent decades, and how new social policies are evolving in close coordination with economic and labor market policy reforms.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 32 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Alan J. Daly, Nienke M. Moolenaar, Jose M. Bolivar and Peggy Burke

Scholars have focused their attention on systemic reform as a way to support instructional coherence. These efforts are often layered on to existing social relationships…

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Abstract

Purpose

Scholars have focused their attention on systemic reform as a way to support instructional coherence. These efforts are often layered on to existing social relationships between school staff that are rarely taken into account when enacting reform. Social network theory posits that the structure of social relationships may influence the direction, speed, and depth of organizational change and therefore may provide valuable insights in the social forces that may support or constrain reform efforts. This study aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed‐methods exploratory case study examined five schools within one under‐performing school district as it enacted a system‐wide reform. Quantitative survey data were collected to assess social networks and teacher work perception of five schools enacting the reform. Qualitative data were gathered through individual interviews from educators within representative grade levels as a way to better understand the diffusion and implementation of the reform.

Findings

Despite being enacted as a system‐wide reform effort, the results suggest significant variance within and between schools in terms of reform‐related social networks. These networks were significantly related to the uptake, depth, and spread of the change. Densely connected grade levels were also associated with more interactions focused on teaching and learning and an increased sense of grade level efficacy.

Practical implications

The findings underline the importance of attending to relational linkages as a complementary strategy to the technical emphasis of reform efforts, as social networks were found to significantly facilitate or constrain reform efforts. Implications and recommendations are offered for leadership, policy and practice that may support the design and implementation of reforms, which may ultimately increase student performance.

Originality/value

The study makes a unique contribution to the reform literature by drawing on social network theory as a way to understand efforts at reform. The work suggests that the informal social linkages on which reform is layered may support or constrain the depth of reform.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Yen-Han Lee, Timothy Chiang, Mack Shelley and Ching-Ti Liu

The Chinese society has embraced rapid social reforms since the late twentieth century, including educational and healthcare systems. The Chinese Central Government…

Abstract

Purpose

The Chinese society has embraced rapid social reforms since the late twentieth century, including educational and healthcare systems. The Chinese Central Government launched an ambitious health reform program in 2009 to improve service quality and provide affordable health services, regardless of individual socio-economic status. Currently, the Chinese social health insurance includes Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance, Urban Resident Basic Medical Insurance, and New Cooperative Medical Insurance for rural residents. The purpose of this paper is to measure the association between individual education level and China’s social health insurance scheme following the reform.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the latest (2011) China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data and multivariable logistic regression models with cross-sectional design (n=11,960), the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) are reported.

Findings

The authors found that education is associated with all social health insurance schemes in China after the reform (p<0.001). Residents with higher educational attainments, such as technical school (OR: 6.64, 95% CI: 5.44–8.13) or university and above (OR: 9.86, 95% CI: 8.14–11.96), are associated with UEBMI, compared with lower-educated individuals.

Practical implications

The Chinese Central Government announced a plan to combine all social health insurance schemes by 2020, except UEBMI, a plan with the most comprehensive financial package. Further research is needed to investigate potential disparities after unification. Policy makers should continue to evaluate China’s universal health coverage and social disparity.

Originality/value

This study is the first to investigate the association between residents’ educational attainment and three social health insurance schemes following the 2009 health reform. The authors suggest that educational attainment is still associated with each social health insurance coverage after the ambitious health reform.

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International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Meril Ümarik, Krista Loogma and Külliki Tafel-Viia

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the implementation of educational reform processes by applying the concept of social innovation. The paper proposes a model…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize the implementation of educational reform processes by applying the concept of social innovation. The paper proposes a model of social innovation and test its applicability in the context of Estonian vocational education reform using two case studies of the school re-organization as an example.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach has been applied in the empirical study. Different data collection methods have been used including semi-structured interviews with the various change actors, observations and analysis of written documents.

Findings

The integrated model of social innovation proved to be a fruitful analytical tool. By focusing on five central aspects – the trigger of change, central change agents, social mechanisms facilitating the adoption of change, implications and social gains – it was possible to explain two school re-organization processes and the reasons behind their success or complications.

Practical implications

The analysis of the cases outlined some lessons that can be learned for the future planning and implementation of school reforms. School changes are more easily adopted if actors experience it as useful and rational, school staff are involved in the process as early as possible and the adoption is facilitated by building certain social mechanisms and network structures into the policy implementation process.

Originality/value

The paper makes a contribution to the literature on educational reform by applying the concept of social innovation. Up until now, the concept of social innovation has remained rather underused to explain the process of implementing and adopting reforms, and in particular, it is rarely used in the context of analyzing educational reforms.

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Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 52 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

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1098

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Md Moazzem Hossain and Manzurul Alam

The purpose of this paper is to investigate organisational accountability to less economically powerful stakeholders in the absence of formal corporate social reporting…

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1487

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate organisational accountability to less economically powerful stakeholders in the absence of formal corporate social reporting (CSR) guidelines. In addition, this study emphasises the role of administrative and institutional reforms in empowering stakeholders in a developing country context, namely, Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

Consistent with prior literature, this qualitative study collected data through semi-structured interviews with 23 representatives from NGOs, media, civil society, customers, regulators, trade union leaders and employees who are considered as less economically powerful stakeholders. This paper draws on the demand for administrative reforms along with an institutional support structure (Owen et al., 1997) to enhance CSR and corporate accountability.

Findings

The empirical evidence shows that there is a need for a stand-alone mandatory CSR to achieve stakeholder accountability. It also shows that there are demands from “stakeholders to right to know” about the company’s social and environmental performance along with stakeholder engagements. There is a perceived demand for administrative reform along with institutional supports that can contribute to the CSR development in Bangladesh. These administrative reforms would encourage transparent corporate social and environmental practices. Given the socio-economic and vulnerable environmental conditions of Bangladesh, stakeholders in this study suggested contextually relevant CSR guidelines towards greater accountability.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is one of the few engagement-based studies which explore the perceptions of less economically powerful stakeholders towards CSR developments in an emerging economy – Bangladesh. The findings of this study using the theoretical lens of accountability with administrative and institutional reforms lead us to conclude that companies in Bangladesh have low level of CSR towards stakeholder accountability and stakeholder engagements.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the CSR literature by highlighting the needs of CSR from the stakeholder’s accountability perspective.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Tomas Sirovatka

The purpose of this paper is to analyse Czech’s activation reforms enacted since 2006 which culminated in 2010-2012 as radical workfare-like reforms. It also aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse Czech’s activation reforms enacted since 2006 which culminated in 2010-2012 as radical workfare-like reforms. It also aims to explain which factors have influenced their development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is the case study of activation reforms in one country interpreted within the theoretical framework of the “activation models” and discussion of the factors influencing activation reforms. The design and implementation of the reforms of activation policies are in focus. Institutional analysis is combined with secondary statistical data and survey data.

Findings

The author distinguish three phases of the activation reforms: the initial phase of activation (work first), the radical phase (workfare) and the failure of radical workfare as the final phase. The key argument is that the main factors leading to the radical workfare version of activation were the political factors combined with institutional factors, particularly, the specific model of policy making (the so-called “compost model”). Ironically, this model which has enabled fast and radical workfare-like reforms was also the main reason why the reforms failed.

Originality/value

The paper is innovative since it explains the specific features of the activation reforms in the Czech Republic, distinguishing workfare from other models of activation, and identifying the factors which have played a role in shaping these features. The in-depth case study of one country provides the evidence on the role of the specific factors and helps the author to understand the motives, the design and the implementation of activation reforms in their mutual relationships. The specific role of the institutional legacy in the new circumstances is emphasized.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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