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Abstract

KERSTENETZKY, Celia Lessa. On the "crisis" in the welfare state: retrenchment, faustian transformation, or what?. Dados [online]. 2012, vol.55, n.2, pp. 447-485. ISSN 0011-5258.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0011-52582012000200006.

The crisis in the welfare state has been announced for nearly four decades, prophesying its retrenchment or even its imminent demise. The article examines this position, based on an operational definition of welfare state, the meanings ascribed to its crisis, and a compilation of the available evidence, and concludes that while the scenarios of retrenchment and imminent demise can be ruled out, other perils such as the privatization of social policies appear to be more serious. The conclusions suggest that the extent to which such hazards represent a negotiation of the welfare state's soul needs to be evaluated not only in economic and financial metrics, but also through a normative framework.

Keywords : welfare state; welfare state crisis; private social policies; public domain; political economy.

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