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|Title: ||Resisting the Welfare State: An examination of the response of the Australian Catholic Church to the national health schemes of the 1940s and 1970s|
|Authors: ||Belcher, Helen Maria|
|Keywords: ||Catholic Church;health policy;religion;Catholic social teaching;Australia;welfare|
|Issue Date: ||2004|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. School of Sociology and Social Policy|
|Abstract: ||This thesis extends and refines a growing body of literature that has highlighted the impact of Catholic social principles on the development of welfare state provision. It suggests that Catholic social teaching is intent on preserving the role of the traditional family, and keeping power out of the hands of the state. Much of this literature, however, is concerned with European experience (Esping-Andersen, 1990; Castles, 1993; van Kersbergen, 1995). More recently Smyth (2003) has augmented this research through an examination of the influence of Catholic social thought on Australian welfare policy. He concludes that the Australian Church, at least up to the 1970s, preferred a 'welfare society' over a 'welfare state', an outlook shared by the wider Australian community. Following the lead of Smyth, this thesis extends the insights of the European research through an examination of Catholic Church resistance to ALP proposals to introduce national health schemes in the 1940s and the 1970s. These appeared to satisfy the Church's commitment to the poorest and most marginalised groups in the community. Why, then, did the Australian Church resist the proposals? The thesis concludes that there are at least two possible ways of interpreting Catholic social teaching – a preconciliar interpretation that minimises the role of the state, and a postconciliar interpretation that allows for an active, albeit limited, state. The adoption of either is informed by socio-political factors. The thesis, then, concludes that the response of the Church in the 1940s and the 1970s was conditioned by socio-political and historical factors that inclined the Australian Catholic Church towards a conservative view of welfare.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Belcher, Helen Maria;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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