IILJ History and Theory in International Law Workshop: The Emergence of the Concept of a ‘Welfare State’ in British Political Discourse, 1940-1950

Oct 23, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm

The political ideal of a welfare state proved surprisingly weak in the 1980s when faced with a resurgent free-market ideology. Today, the social scientific concept of ‘welfare state’ is remarkably unstable, ill-defined, and confused. David Garland’s project investigates this state of affairs by means of genealogical inquiries that trace the lines of descent and moments of emergence that led up to the present. The workshop paper examines the emergence of the concept in Britain in the years after the Second World War. It shows how the concept was developed and adopted after the legislative enactment of the programs to which it usually refers, not prior to them, and it discusses the term’s ambiguity, range of meanings, and essentially contested character.


Martti Koskenniemi, University of Helsinki Professor and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights

Steven Lukes, NYU Sociology Professor.


Benedict Kingsbury & Karin Loevy

Please RSVP here; the chapter will be sent to those who plan to attend. This event will be held at the Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies, 22 Washington Square North, 1st floor conference room.