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Conservatives, partisan dynamics and the politics of universality: reforming universal social programmes in the UK and Canada

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This article explores the politics of universal family, health and pension programmes in the UK and Canada during recent periods of conservative rule. The analysis provides grounds for exploring partisan dynamics while testing what happened when the principle of universality clashed with fiscal and political pressures to restructure the welfare state. As suggested, in both countries, universality has remained stronger in the field of healthcare than in the one of cash benefits, a trend related to the wide popularity of universal healthcare, which explains why conservatives have been extra careful when dealing with this policy area closely tied to citizenship.
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Keywords: CANADA; CONSERVATISM; PARTISAN DYNAMICS; SOCIAL POLICY; UK; UNIVERSALITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2014

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UA-1313315-21
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