Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Gunther Hega

Second Advisor

Dr. J. Kevin Corder

Third Advisor

Dr. Elena Lisovskaya

Fourth Advisor

Dr. William A. Ritchie


Western welfare states have not all followed the same path in their social policy development. Still, certain similarities have been identified in the types and combinations of social insurance supported by specific groupings of these states. Titmuss (1974) described "three contrasting models or functions of social policy." Heclo (1985) argued "three broad groups of nations can be distinguished” with different models of social welfare policy. Esping-Andersen (1990) identified "three worlds of welfare capitalism," each with a unique social policy agenda and distinctive social insurance system. Education is typically not included with other social programs in depicting the policy profiles of welfare states. I argue it should because a state’s education policy is associated with, and a component of, its overall welfare strategy. Education policy can be made an instrument to serve welfare, labor, and any number of other policy objectives. Moreover, the socioeconomic benefits an individual may realize with educational achievement can become functionally equivalent to, and even exceed, what may be received through social insurance. Heidenheimer (1981) argued a relationship between education and social insurance policies was determined during the initial stages of welfare state development. For America and Europe, "the emphasis on education and social security programs are viewed as the cores of alternative strategies pursued by emerging welfare states" (269). Heclo (1983) spoke of an ‘implicit trade-off,” a choice made between state investment in educational opportunities or the expansion of social insurance programs. Castles (1989) recommended that preferential state support of education or social insurance may be considered as alternative policy strategies followed by welfare states today. Both case studies and a quantitative analysis examine the policy record for evidence of different welfare state types with such alternative policy strategies, and a "trade-off between state investment in education and other social programs." The results indicate an association does exist between the education and social programs welfare states support. Specifically, the liberal, conservative and social democratic welfare regimes Esping-Andersen described can be linked with characteristic education policies. There is also evidence of a "trade-off.” Certain kinds of welfare regimes exhibit a preference to invest in education or social insurance programs.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access