Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Challenging scalar fallacy in state-wide welfare studies: a UK sub-state comparison of civil society approaches to addressing youth unemployment

Pearce, Sioned ORCID: and Lagana, Giada 2022. Challenging scalar fallacy in state-wide welfare studies: a UK sub-state comparison of civil society approaches to addressing youth unemployment. International Journal of Social Welfare 10.1111/ijsw.12572

[thumbnail of Int J Soc Welfare - 2022 - Pearce - Challenging scalar fallacy in state‐wide welfare studies  A UK sub‐state comparison of.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (258kB) | Preview
License URL:
License Start date: 15 November 2022


Here we make an original, empirical contribution to debates on welfare pluralism, the mixed economies of welfare and territorial rescaling by comparing civil society approaches to tackling youth unemployment in England, Scotland and Wales. Our core finding is that academic and policy literature's frequent characterisation of the UK as a single Liberal welfare regime is based on methodological nationalism privileging state-wide analyses. In short, a scalar fallacy pervasive in international welfare studies. In the context of the global rise of meso-government and so-called ‘stateless nations’ pressing for greater autonomy, our case-study challenges the dominant paradigm. Our analysis shows the liberal characteristics of work-first policy orientation and marketised civil society are concentrated in England then tempered by devolved (social) policy. Based on contrasting, left-of-centre and civic nationalist governing traditions, grounded in multi-level electoral politics, we show the devolved nations taking a different approach to Westminster, partially eschewing the market and incorporating collectivism and co-production.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Wales Governance Centre (WGCES)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1369-6866
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 October 2022
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 16:27

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics