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The Authoritarian Welfare State: a Marginalized Concept

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The central thesis of the paper is that authoritarian cases have systematically been excluded from welfare state theories despite the existing empirical research on authoritarian welfare provisions. This theoretical gap has limited the instruments available for comparative welfare state research. As a result, such research has attended to the democratic mechanisms of welfare state development and has ignored the authoritarian ones. This is most consequential for studying the countries with hybrid political regimes where democratic theories reveal only a part of the story. Building the theory of the authoritarian welfare state can help develop a more comprehensive model of the welfare state that will not be biased towards the democratic cases. The paper explores the possible reasons for the exclusion of authoritarian cases from theory building, provides a sketch of the theory of the authoritarian welfare state, and demonstrates the potential benefits of the expanded theoretical framework using the recent examples of comparative welfare state research.

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  • 01/03/2019
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