THE (GOLDEN) AGE OF THE WELFARE STATE: INTERROGATING A CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
How to Cite
WINCOTT, D. (2012), THE (GOLDEN) AGE OF THE WELFARE STATE: INTERROGATING A CONVENTIONAL WISDOM. Public Administration. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2012.02067.x
- Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
- Date received 12 February 2011. Date accepted 28 March 2012.
The idea of a (golden) age pervades most academic analysis and debate about the welfare state. This article interrogates this largely unquestioned epochal image of welfare history which is, in effect, a shared conventional wisdom. That vast and often disputatious scholarly literatures should share a conventional epochal axiom is remarkable. So is the absence of academic debate focused on this idea, which is both pervasive and vague. Perhaps paradoxically, our easy recognition of the (golden) age of the welfare state may contribute to the lack of precision in its use: taken-for-granted concepts are often sloppily deployed.