Haber, Hanan. “Rise of the Regulatory Welfare State? Social Regulation in Utilities in Israel.” Social Policy & Administration (early view; online first).
This article explores the relation between economic liberalization, regulation and welfare. It asks how the state regulates, delays or prevents service disconnection due to debt and arrears, and what this kind of policy implies regarding the use of regulation as a form of social policy. This is done through a comparative study of the electricity and water sectors in Israel after liberalization. It finds that after initial economic reform, both sectors saw a growth in regulation intended to compensate for the social effects of reform, in what may be termed the ‘regulatory welfare state’. However, this form of social protection has been residual and incoherent. The article argues that trying to separate economic reform from its social consequences is unrealistic and may lead to adverse social and economic results. Second, findings raise concerns regarding the potential of the regulatory welfare state to deliver effective and fair social policy.