At a time when the welfare state is variously demonized and idealized, this study provides a look at one of the leaders of its development. Drawing on primary materials from state and private archives, Edward Dickinson traces the story of German child welfare policy over an extended period of conflict and compromise among competing groups - progressive social reformers, conservative Protestants, Catholics, Social Democrats, feminists, medical men, jurists and welfare recipients themselves. The model of the development of child welfare policy presented here illuminates the complexity of the struggles from which modern social policy emerged, and accounts for the ways in which similar policies could be adapted to changing political systems - monarchical, republican, or fascist.
Following a period of policy innovation, rapid institutional expansion, and intensifying ideological conflict before the First World War, Dickinson shows, the period from 1918 to 1961 saw a succession of efforts to reconcile competing policy agendas within different political contexts: the corporatist-democratic compromise worked out in the early years of the Weimar Republic, which broke down in the economic and political crisis at the end of the 1920s; the disastrous Nazi synthesis of authoritarianism and racism; and a revitalized corporatist-democratic framework, stabilized on the basis of the antitotalitarian consensus and of psychotherapeutic theory and practice, after 1949.
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(235mm x 162mm x 25mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Author Biography - Edward Ross Dickinson
Edward Ross Dickinson is Lecturer in History, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.