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article  core housework  family policy  family  fathers  leave  paid leave  paid maternity  paid  policy expansion  policy  welfare 
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Preview: Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society - current issue

Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society Current Issue

Published: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2017 12:51:24 GMT


The Politics of Investing in Families: Comparing Family Policy Expansion in Japan and South Korea


Family policy addresses some of the important challenges of post-industrial societies, and represents an important dimension of the recent transformation of advanced welfare capitalism. This article analyses the development of family policy in the two East Asian latecomer countries of Japan and South Korea, where we witness significant policy expansion starting in the 1990s—with the latter displaying much bolder expansion and defamilization. Explaining the difference in policy expansion, we show that the Korean electorate displays a much stronger pro-welfare orientation, which produced an environment for much fiercer party competition on the grounds of social and family policy.

Which Ideas, Whose Norms? Comparing the Relative Influence of International Organizations on Paid Maternity and Parental Leave Policies in Liberal Welfare States


This article examines the adoption of paid maternity and parental leave policies in the liberal welfare states of Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and investigates the domestic and international sources of policy ideas. Through comparative analysis using mainly qualitative techniques of analysis of primary and secondary sources and elite interviews, the article examines the decision-making processes in each of these jurisdictions. It finds the relative influence of international organizations to be rather limited in comparison to domestic sources of influence, including the election of leftist governments under sympathetic party leaders and in the context of human capital concerns.

Does Maternity Leave Pay Off? Evidence from a Recent Reform in Australia


Based on recent family policy changes in Australia’s statutory paid maternity leave entitlement, this article provides empirical evidence on the relationship between family policy and mothers’ employment behavior following a birth. The results unambiguously point to the impact of the program, although its impact varies across groups, and suggest that the introduction of a statutory paid leave entitlement has stimulated a change in re-entry behavior to work: Women entitled to paid leave delay their return to work in the first months after childbirth; once paid leave entitlements are exhausted, transitions back to work become increasingly frequent.

Trends in Fathers’ Contribution to Housework and Childcare under Different Welfare Policy Regimes


This article brings up to date welfare regime differences in the time fathers spend on childcare and core housework, using Multinational Time Use Study data (1971–2010) from fifteen countries. Although Nordic fathers continue to set the bar, the results provide some support for the idea of a catch-up in core housework among Southern regime fathers. The results also suggest an increasing polarization in Liberal countries, whereby fathers who were meaningfully involved in family life were increasingly likely to spend more time doing core housework and, particularly, childcare. Fathers living in Corporatist countries have been least responsive to change.