Mass warfare and the welfare state: causal mechanisms and effects

Klaus Petersen, Herbert Obinger

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The question of whether and how war has influenced the development of advanced Western welfare states is contested. This article provides a systematic review of the state of the art and outlines an agenda for a comparative analysis of the warfare-welfare state nexus that is informed by an explicit consideration of the underlying causal mechanisms. By distinguishing between three different phases (war preparation, warfare and post-war period) it provides a systematic overview of possible causal mechanisms linking war and the welfare state and a discussion of likely effects of war for belligerent, occupied and neutral countries in the age of mass warfare stretching approximately from the 1860s to the 1960s.

TidsskriftBritish Journal of Political Science
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)203-227
StatusUdgivet - 2017


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