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Concept of Welfare State

Lecturer (Social Work), ISSG, University of Peshawar


imranahmad131@gmail.com Oct, 2012

Ibn-e-Khaldun
Man is Gregarious by Nature Mankind can not survive without living together 1. By nature, man can not live without food
Man can not fulfill his food necessities all by himself

Protection Man can not protect himself without the help of others.
By nature, man is physically weaker than majority of other animals

All other animals have been given an organ for protection or defence
Man has been given mind and hands Man invented weapons for his protection Individually, man can not protect himself even from a single animalespecially predators

Concluding, without cooperation with each other, man cannot survive. Man can not fulfill his food necessities. Man can not fulfill his needs for protection.

Need for the State


Aggression is natural in all living beings. By living together with the weapons and ammunitions, it was necessary to protect man from mans aggression. Therefore, a separate institution in the shape of a King and the State was established. The king/state, was to protect man from mans aggression. The state was to be powerful enough to enforce decisions in the common interest of all.

State was established to protect man from mans aggression and injustice.

Purpose of the State


Difference of Opinion between; 1. Social Wellbeing Aristotle 2. State for the IndividualJohn Locke, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Jeremy Bentham, J.S. Mills, etc 3. Individual for the StateHegel, Rousseau, etc

Social Wellbeing Aristotle


The state which originated for the sake of life, continues for the sake of life. The end of the state is, therefore, social well-being. The state exists for the sake of that kind of life which is the end of mannot for the increase of its population or wealth or for empire or the extension of its influence. It exists for the exercise of qualities which make men good husbands, fathers and heads of house-holds, good soldiers and citizens, good men of science and philosophers.

Divergent European View


John Locke, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Jeremy Bentham, JS Mills and other. Let the state act to remove disabilities, in so doing rulers would be forwarding the welfare of the subject. The individual is the end and cannot be considered as a means to the enrichment of individuals personality. The state is nothing but a natural institution for preventing one man from infringing upon the rights of another.

State is a means to an end, the end being a better life for the individual.

Idealist View
Hegel, Rousseau etc The state is an end in itself. The state is the Divine Idea as it exist on earth. And individual achieves self-realization only as its members. The state being an end in itself provided with the maximum of rights against the individual citizens whose highest duty is to be members of the state.

The individual is considered as a means and not as the ultimate end of the society. The individual being inferior to society must subordinate his own ends to those of the society.

Despite these differences there has been a general recognition that the state exists, or should exists, to promote the welfare of its citizens.

Welfare State
welfare state is a buzz word today. Every country call herself a welfare state but the level of welfare services vary from society to society. The term refers to those societies where the government has the responsibility for the wellbeing of the citizens and that this cannot be entrusted to the individual, private corporations, or local community. A welfare state typically protects people against poverty by means of

Welfare state is a concept of government where the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The general term may cover a variety of forms of economic and social organization.

Unemployment benefits Family allowances Income supplements for the poorly paid and Old age pension the state provide comprehensive medical care, free education, public housing. These programmes are financed by state insurance schemes and taxation.

Welfare state also refers to organizing, financing, and provision of welfare benefits and services by government. The term welfare state is used to describe the combination of benefits and services intended to increase the wellbeing of citizens and provided either directly or indirectly.