Gender ,citizenship and welfare state regimes in the early twenty-first century: 'incomplete revolution' and/or gender equality 'lost in translation'

Julia S O'Connor

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter examines the contested concepts of gender, citizenship and welfare state regimes as they relate to one another in the literature analysing redistribution and social service production and provision over the past couple of decades. The analysis unfolds from the centrality of citizenship rights, especially social rights, in welfare state development to a discussion of the gendered analysis of citizenship as rights and citizenship as obligation traditions. It argues that they are complementary and that both are essential to a realistic and effective analysis of welfare states in terms of the quality of social rights and the bases of stratification on which they are structured. The gender-sensitive critique of citizenship and welfare state regimes points to the pivotal role of the family in the state, market, family triadic division of responsibility for services and benefits, in the reconciliation of labour market participation and the care of dependent people in contemporary welfare states. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the second part of the title, which summarizes two perspectives on the current policy context within which gender, citizenship and welfare regimes are discussed. The contrasting messages of an ‘incomplete revolution’ in relation to women’s roles and the ‘loss in translation’ of gender egalitarian strategies into the gender awareness reflect some of the key issues considered in this chapter. It concludes that gender, citizenship and welfare state regimes continue to be contested concepts but they are now the subject of intense theoretical and empirical analysis that is yielding significant insights into the comparative analysis of welfare states, in particular the variation in the range and quality of social rights. Not only do welfare state regimes differ in the primacy they accord to the state, the market and the family, a particular welfare state may differ in the primacy accorded across particular policy areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA Handbook of Comparative Social Policy Second Edition
    EditorsPatricia Kennett
    Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
    ISBN (Print)978 1 78254 653 5
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013


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