This essay argues that in general, Esping-Andersen is massively influential in terms of the three worlds of welfare capitalism. In the work of The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (1990), Esping-Andersen gives a characterization to the distinguished types of welfare state, which, in fact, represent the main models of modern social policy that exist in the economically developed countries of the West.Moreover, T.H. Marshall also proposed that the social citizenship constitutes the main idea of a welfare state (Esping-Andersen, 1990). One of the most serious social events of the 20th century was the realization of the idea of a social state and a welfare state. For the first time, the concept of a “social state” was put forward in the middle of the nineteenth century by Lorentz von Stein. He believed that the idea of the state consists in restoring equality and freedom, in raising the lower, disadvantaged classes to the level of rich and strong, that the state should “realize the economic and social progress of all its members, since the development of one is a condition and consequence of the development of another”. In practice, the concept of the welfare state was expressed in the form of a set of social programs in the field of social security, health, housing construction, education aimed at maintaining a sufficiently high standard of living for all members of society.According to the Esping-Andersen (1990), the nature of the implementation of social policy in different countries and regions is determined by many parameters, including history, cultural traditions, features of economic development, political system, etc. Therefore, the general model of the welfare state is just a certain image, some framework conditions. At the same time, for all the differences and variations in the conduct of social policy in different countries of the world, scientists have attempted to identify models of social policy and their classification. One of the classifications was proposed by the leading Western sociologistEsping-Andersen (1990). Proceeding from the general principles of the welfare state, the scientist distinguishes three types of such state, in fact, representing the main models of modern social policy that exist today in the economically developed countries of the West. For their characterization and distinction, he offers the following parameters: decommodification level, stratification of society, state intervention (Manning, 1999).On the basis of these parameters, the scientist distinguishes three types of the modern welfare state. Countries are categorized as separate regimes such as; Liberal, Conservative and Social Democratic (Arshad, 2017).
In the liberal model, social assistance in the framework of certain minimum needs is provided by the residual principle to the poor and low-income strata of the population who are not able to independently obtain means of subsistence. In fact, it is the responsibility of the state to provide a certain minimum of social guarantees to all members of society (Iversen, 1998). The social democratic principle (It is also called the liberal-socialist principle), initially based on the concentration of public funds supporting trade-union and other democratic public organizations, later spread to all citizens of the state who have the right to equal benefits, regardless of the degree of need and labor contribution. Among the countries that implemented this model of social policy in practice are Scandinavian states, where the principles of the universalism of social rights coincide with the inviolability of individual autonomy, therefore this model is a combination of liberalism with socialism (Esping-Andersen, 1990). The English sociologist, a well-known specialist in social policy, Manning analyzing the theory of Esping-Andersen, notes that according to the author of the concept, one of the sources that historically determined the differences in “modes” of welfare states is the political power of labor movements in different countries. And the impact of this factor is fundamental even with a relatively equal level of economic growth (Manning, 1999). From this point of view, the sources, size and generosity of welfare states depend on political forces and especially on associations that can be formed between different social classes. Where the middle classes are convinced that it is in their interest to support the needs of the working class in expanding the welfare state, as in Scandinavia, there the private services sector is overflowing and the middle class is focusing on qualitative penetration into the public sector. If the interests of the working class are poorly represented as in the US, for example, or the interests of the middle class shift from state support to the private market as in Great Britain, then the achievements and quality of the state’s provision of social welfare will suffer (Manning, 1999). Esping-Andersen argues that in one cluster, there may be states with features of a “liberal” welfare state, in which targeted social assistance, low universal transfers and modest social insurance prevail. Under this regime of social welfare, payments are mainly directed to low-income groups mainly the working class and dependents. In this model, the promotion of social reforms was strictly limited to traditional, liberal and professional-ethical norms. Subsequently, under this regime, the effect of decommodification is reduced and this regime, based on social rights, erects a stratification structure where the recipients of social assistance are equally poor, where the welfare of the majority depends on the market situation. Ideal example of this model is the United States of America (Esping-Andersen, 1990). Another regime that Esping-Andersen discusses is Social Democratic. He calls this regime “socially-democratic,” because they dominate the social and democratic component of social reforms. In his opinion, the Social Democrats will develop the concept of a welfare state that ensures exactly the equality of the highest standards, rather than the equality of minimum needs, as is usually the case. They will prefer this equality to double standards between the state and the market, between the worker and the middle classes. To achieve this goal, first, it is necessary to raise the level of incomes and quality of services to a level commensurate with the standards of the new middle class and, secondly, the working layers should be guaranteed the same quality of observance of rights as among the more advantaged sections of society (Esping-Andersen, 1990). It is certainly possible that such goals could be transferred to any countries by increasing at least the tax.
The policy of the socio-democratic regime is aimed at both the market and the traditional family. Unlike other models, its principle is not to wait until the capacity of domestic assistance is exhausted, but rather to rationally regulate the family’s expenses, depending on social priorities. Here the goal is not to maximize the dependence of family members on each other, but on the contrary, to strengthen their individual independence (Carlberg, 2008). In this sense, the model represents a specific fusion of liberalism and socialism. Its result is the welfare state. Such a state, which, for example, to help younger family members address part of the social payments directly to children so it takes direct responsibility for the care of children, the elderly and the disabled. This imposes a number of requirements on the family. For example, if a family receives the necessary social services from the state, then the woman must have a guaranteed opportunity to change the fate of the unemployed housewife, the chance to get a job and make a career. Esping-Andersen notices that the most prominent feature of the socio-democratic regime is the fusion of prosperity and labor activity. It implies guarantees of full employment and compliance of remuneration to the efforts made. On the one hand, the right to employment has an equal status with the right to protect labor incomes. On the other hand, the costs of maintaininga Universalistdecommodifying system of general welfare are enormous. This means that all efforts should be directed to the maximum solution of social problems and to maximize the effective use of income. The most appropriate means to achieve such goals is to increase the number of employed and reduce the number of people living at the expense of social contributions (Esping-Andersen, 1990).
Compared to other scientists, as mentioned above,Esping-Andersen measures all those three regimes in terms of degree of decommodification and stratification. He has given the ideal types for each regime.Ideal types help people to understand the different dynamics of different types of welfare regimes (Carlberg, 2008). Other previous studies before 1980s only concentrated on similarities, world trends and missed important differences in national dynamics. As mentioned before, history of the country is one of the significant factors of having different regimes. According to Esping-Andersen, if the historical legacy is liberal and labour succeeds in mobilizing they develop social democratic welfare states. On the other hand, if the historical legacy is liberal but labour fails to mobilize then it remains liberal (Esping-Andersen, 1990). Looking back to the history, although Sweden had lots of economical fluctuations, the country could reverse the situation with consummate skill and political coverage. However, according to the statistics, the level of gross social expenditure (% of GDP) has risen in both US and Sweden since 1980 (Alber, 2010).