Title

Federalism and the 'New Politics' of welfare development: childcare and parental leave in Australia and Canada

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Mahon, R & Brennan, D 2013, 'Federalism and the 'New Politics' of welfare development: childcare and parental leave in Australia and Canada', Publius: The Journal of Federalism, vol. 43, no.1, pp.90-108.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/publius/pjs015

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

How does federal state architecture affect the design of welfare? We explore the development of childcare and parental leave in Canada and Australia to address this question. Both countries are considered liberal welfare regimes, but their federal institutions operate in quite different ways, providing an opportunity for comparative analysis. We consider the ways in which federal institutions have affected mobilization around childcare and parental leave and have helped to shape policy outcomes. There is a plausible connection between the institutional configuration of each federation and policy design. It is not definitive, but interacts with variables such as the nature and scale of federal fiscal and policy capacity, the gendered assumptions embedded in the structures of the welfare state, political party strategies, and feminist mobilization.