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By Herbert Obinger, Stephan Leibfried, Francis G. Castles

Ten specialists query triumphing perspectives that federalism continuously inhibits the expansion of social cohesion. Their comparative research of the evolution of political associations and welfare states within the six oldest federal states--Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the U.S.--reveals that federalism can facilitate and abate social coverage improvement. improvement is contingent on a number of time-dependent elements and this research means that federalism may very well shield the welfare nation, and welfare states may possibly increase nationwide integration.

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187–88. 001 USA Notes: 1 Divided government. Sources: Cabinet share as a percentage of total seats (average 1945–2001). Cabinet shares are calculated on a daily basis. Basis: Manfred G. Schmidt, ‘Die parteipolitische Zusammensetzung der Regierung in 23 OECD L¨andern 1945–2001’, unpublished data set (Bremen: Centre for Social Policy Research, University of Bremen). Index of interest group pluralism (1945–1996). Basis: Arend Lijphart, Patterns of Democracy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), p.

Social insurance contributions play a significant role in the Germanic welfare states, whereas contributions are non-existent in Australia and moderate in the North American welfare states. 57 For indicative figures for some of these federations, see Willem Adema, ‘Net Social Expenditure’, OECD, Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers, no. 52 (Paris: OECD, 1999). 26 Federalism and the Welfare State We have already noted that the German-speaking federal states correspond broadly with Esping-Andersen’s ‘conservative’ regime type and that the English-speaking countries belong to his ‘liberal’ regime category.

F¨oderalismus, pp. 157–76, p. 159. Introduction 13 Despite much older quasi-federal traditions, the formative moment for both the Austrian and German federations was the disintegration of the huge empires of central Europe in the aftermath of World War One. As was also true of Switzerland, these nations grew out of the Holy Roman Empire, and the history of some German and Austrian L¨ander and some Swiss cantons dates back to the Middle Ages. Following the Napoleonic Wars and the reconstruction of the anciens regimes in Europe at the Congress of Vienna, the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) founded in 1815 constituted a confederation encompassing much of the territory that today constitutes Germany and Austria.

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