Cover image for War and welfare : Europe and the United States, 1945 to the present
War and welfare : Europe and the United States, 1945 to the present
Klausen, Jytte.
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
341 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
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Table of contents
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HC240 .K53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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From belligerent to neutral countries, the civilian war economy that developed from 1939 to 1945 created the foundations for the postwar welfare state. This book examines the legacy of the "warfare state" and reveals how it paved the path for the welfare state in ensuing decades. Jytte Klausen shows how the institutional marks made by World War II were critical to capitalist reform after the war. She argues that the warfare state was a gift to the European Left, and asserts that state-expansion and the changing domestic order during the war, in most countries regardless of their stances, anticipated the welfare state. When the war ended in 1945, the reconstruction process rested on piecemeal decisions to remove or retain war-time controls over the economy, ranging from state cartels to wage fixing. Klausen argues that the welfare state ratified prior changes in state-society relations and represented a continuation of institutional development undertaken during the war years.

Author Notes

Jytte Klausen is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, Brandeis University. She is an Affiliate of the Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies, Harvard University, where she is co-chair of the Gender, Politics and Society Study Group.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Klausen (comparative politics, Brandeis Univ.) believes that the civilian war economy that grew during the period from 1939 to 1945 in both belligerent and neutral countries built the foundation for what became the modern welfare state. Since government expansion during the war anticipated the welfare state, the welfare state after 1945 was a ratification of prior changes in state-society relations. These developments effectively ended the hopes of prewar European trade unions and their political counterparts for the establishment of a state-centered planned economy. The general analysis is well buttressed with studies of wartime Great Britain, Sweden, and the United States and postwar West Germany. The writing, however, is dense and repetitious. Suitable for political science collections in academic libraries.¬ĎHarry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The conclusion of this provocative study is that the war experiences of government controls and institution-building played a major role in the growth of the welfare state, as demonstrated by this comparative history of the post-WW I period, especially of the policies of Britain, Sweden, Germany, and the US. For each country there is an analysis and selective data. Klausen (comparative politics, Brandeis Univ.) notes the exceptional experiences but always finds a connection between government controls and welfare policies, though the relationship is not obvious or causally established. The welfare economy concept and its beginnings actually predated the war, going back to the last third of the 19th century. Karl Marx, Fabian socialism, and Bismarck's welfare measures to combat socialism played major roles. Furthermore, the depressions of 1873 and 1929-36 tended to undermine capitalist policies and paved the way for Keynesian and Wicksellian economics, which are closely related to welfare measures and the New Deal. Nevertheless, this book raises many questions that will engage scholars for some time to come. Extensive bibliography. Recommended for graduate and research collections. E. H. Tuma; emeritus, University of California, Davis

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. v
1 Reconstruction and Capitalist Reformp. 1
2 Great Britain: Labour's Spoils of Warp. 25
3 Great Britain: The Socialist Economy in the Free Societyp. 59
4 Sweden: War and Economic Thinkingp. 95
5 Sweden: From the Planned Economy to Societal Coordinationp. 129
6 Germany: Planning the Social Market Economyp. 165
7 War, Citizenship, and American Exceptionalismp. 209
8 The Postwar State and National Economic Developmentp. 243
Notesp. 283
Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 333