Welfare Theory: A Critique of Concepts

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Jørgen Sandemose


In this paper, the author contends that the notion of a ‘welfare state’ cannot be regarded as a meaningful concept unless it is thought of as an ideological construction. Important elements in that construction are traced back to T. R. Malthus, whom the author holds to be the decisive figure in the build-up of the paradigm of bourgeois social science dominating up to the present day. “Welfare” politics are analysed as a reflection of the accumulation of capital, and severe criticism is made of concepts like “commodification” and “de-commodification”, as they are being commonly used in “welfare theory”.

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Sandemose, J. (2018). Welfare Theory: A Critique of Concepts. HUMANITIES BULLETIN, 1(2), 61-76. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/260