Regulating-for-Welfare: A Comparative Study of “Regulatory Welfare Regimes” in the Israeli, British, and Swedish Electricity Sectors

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Abstract:

The regulatory state and the welfare state are two institutions that are central to the analysis of the characteristics of capitalist democracies. The regulatory state is seen as focused on market failures and trust-busting, while the welfare state is said to shield citizens from the negative redistributive effects and externalities of the market. This article explores the relations and boundaries between the welfare state and the regulatory state in the electricity sectors in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Israel. It demonstrates the emergence of social policy within the context of liberalized, privatized, and (de)regulated electricity sectors. This article finds that the boundaries between the regulatory state and the welfare state are blurred in Israel and the United Kingdom but not in Sweden. These findings may imply a connection between the welfare state and the regulatory state, suggesting that a strong welfare state is needed in order to maintain regulation-for-competition.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9930.2010.00332.x

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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