Welfare state Definition
There are three main interpretations of the idea of a welfare state:
- The welfare state refers to the provision of welfare services by the state.
- A welfare state is an ideal model where the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility is comprehensive, because all aspects of welfare are considered; a "safety net" is not enough. It is universal, because it covers every person as a matter of right.
- Welfare states may be identified with general systems of social welfare. In many "welfare states", welfare is not actually provided by the state, but by a combination of independent, voluntary and government services.