Ken Collier draws upon the world'system theory developed by Fernand Braudel and Immanuel Wallerstein to shed light on the welfare state and its apparent demise. The welfare state, Collier argues, grew up in the heyday of the anti'state to meet the needs of both capital and labour. The role of the state is changing, and the nation'state itself is headed for obsolescence, notions captured in the concept of "the end of the welfare state". But even in this aftermath, the welfare state's functions will still need to be carried out; and Collier reminds us that the traditional welfare state was fought for, and won, by workers themselves.
The future will see new struggles in new contexts, but the key is to grasp the forces at work in the world that are bringing about the changes we are seeing. After the Welfare State makes some potent suggestions about where these struggles will be taking place.
About the author
Ken Collier, a former social worker who hails from Saskatoon, SK writes extensively on the government's involvement in social policy and social spending within the global economy. He has taught for 30 years in La Ronge, Prince Albert, Saskatoon and at the University of Regina, and most recently at Athabasca University. He is now retired.