The Rise of the Welfare State in International Society

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In this article I seek to develop a case for viewing the welfare state as a primary institution in international society. This is with particular reference to Norden (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), where in the course of the 1930s, and particularly in the post-1945 era, the welfare state was elevated to a core principle of legitimacy, largely defining the idea of nationhood for these countries. Furthermore, I will attempt to show how the adoption of this principle of legitimacy conditioned the Nordic countries’ interpretation of a number of other primary institutions in international society such as diplomacy, war and trade. A key contribution of this approach is that it aspires not only to examine the evolution of one institution in isolation, as has often been attempted in English School scholarship, but to actively explore how institutions interact with each other.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)599-620
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2015

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