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Abstract

Over the last two decades welfare policies have undergone major reforms in Anglo-Western nations such as the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Central to these reforms have been the revision of welfare recipient entitlements and responsibilities and the emergence of a responsibility and obligations agenda. The essence of this agenda is conditionality and reciprocity, and it includes the threat of punitive sanctions for failing to comply with mandatory participation requirements. This paper highlights the potent influence of the ideas of American conservatives on policy reforms in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia and provides a thematic crossnational comparison of sanctioning policies in these nations.

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