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A theory of predatory welfare state and citizen welfare: the French case

Mehrdad Vahabi, Philippe Batifoulier () and Nicolas Silva ()
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Nicolas Silva: Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité

Public Choice, 2020, vol. 182, issue 3, No 2, 243-271

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, we argue that the welfare state is an outcome of modern mass (total) warfare. The total war economy requires the participation of all citizens, erasing the differences between the military and citizens. Consequently, the war economy benefits from succoring the civilian population. The total war effect explains why a predatory state undertakes welfare programs, one of the contributions of the present paper. While the welfare state is closely related to total warfare, social welfare is not. Fraternal social welfare organizations in the United States predate the New Deal and the rise of welfare state. Similarly, the French welfare system was born as citizen welfare and not as state welfare. In fact, welfare programs were initiated in 1871 during the Paris Commune by workers under the name of la sociale and were recreated as self-managed citizen groups in 1945 before being displaced by government welfare programs. A second contribution of this paper is to explore the re-appropriation effect, or the way self-managed citizen welfare was transformed into a welfare state through a three-stage reform process manifesting itself in 1946, 1967 and 1996.

Keywords: Citizen welfare; La Sociale; Predatory state; State re-appropriation effect; Total war effect; Welfare state (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: A theory of predatory welfare state and citizen welfare: the French case (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: A theory of predatory welfare state and citizen welfare: the French case (2019)
Working Paper: A theory of predatory welfare state and citizen welfare: the French case (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: A theory of predatory welfare state and citizen welfare: the french case (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00660-0

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