Esping-Andersen’s ‘Three Worlds’ classification 

In the liberal model, social
assistance in the framework of certain minimum needs is provided by the
residual principle to the poor and low-income strata of the population who are
not able to independently obtain means of subsistence. In fact, it is the
responsibility of the state to provide a certain minimum of social guarantees
to all members of society (Iversen, 1998). The social democratic principle (It
is also called the liberal-socialist principle), initially based on the
concentration of public funds supporting trade-union and other democratic
public organizations, later spread to all citizens of the state who have the
right to equal benefits, regardless of the degree of need and labor
contribution. Among the countries that implemented this model of social policy
in practice are Scandinavian states, where the principles of the universalism
of social rights coincide with the inviolability of individual autonomy,
therefore this model is a combination of liberalism with socialism
(Esping-Andersen, 1990). The English sociologist, a well-known specialist in
social policy, Manning analyzing the theory of Esping-Andersen, notes that
according to the author of the concept, one of the sources that historically
determined the differences in “modes” of welfare states is the
political power of labor movements in different countries. And the impact of
this factor is fundamental even with a relatively equal level of economic
growth (Manning, 1999). From this point of view, the sources, size and
generosity of welfare states depend on political forces and especially on
associations that can be formed between different social classes. Where the
middle classes are convinced that it is in their interest to support the needs
of the working class in expanding the welfare state, as in Scandinavia, there
the private services sector is overflowing and the middle class is focusing on
qualitative penetration into the public sector. If the interests of the working
class are poorly represented as in the US, for example, or the interests of the
middle class shift from state support to the private market as in Great
Britain, then the achievements and quality of the state’s provision of social
welfare will suffer (Manning, 1999). Esping-Andersen argues that in one
cluster, there may be states with features of a “liberal” welfare
state, in which targeted social assistance, low universal transfers and modest
social insurance prevail. Under this regime of social welfare, payments are
mainly directed to low-income groups mainly the working class and dependents.
In this model, the promotion of social reforms was strictly limited to
traditional, liberal and professional-ethical norms. Subsequently, under this
regime, the effect of decommodification is reduced and this regime, based on
social rights, erects a stratification structure where the recipients of social
assistance are equally poor, where the welfare of the majority depends on the
market situation. Ideal example of this model is the United States of America
(Esping-Andersen, 1990). Another regime that Esping-Andersen talks about is
Social Democratic. He calls this regime “socially-democratic,” because
they dominate the social and democratic component of social reforms. In his
opinion, the Social Democrats will rather develop the concept of a welfare
state that ensures exactly the equality of the highest standards, rather than
the equality of minimum needs, as is usually the case. They will prefer this
equality to double standards between the state and the market, between the
worker and the middle classes. To achieve this goal, first, it is necessary to
raise the level of incomes and quality of services to a level commensurate with
the standards of the new middle class and, secondly, the working layers should
be guaranteed the same quality of observance of rights as among the more
advantaged sections of society (Esping-Andersen, 1990). It is certainly
possible that such goals could be transferred to any countries by increasing at
least the tax.

The policy of the
socio-democratic regime is aimed at both the market and the traditional family.
Unlike other models, its principle is not to wait until the capacity of
domestic assistance is exhausted, but rather to rationally regulate the
family’s expenses, depending on social priorities. Here the goal is not to
maximize the dependence of family members on each other, but on the contrary,
to strengthen their individual independence (Carlberg, 2008). In this sense,
the model represents a specific fusion of liberalism and socialism. Its result
is the welfare state. Such a state, which, for example, to help younger family
members address part of the social payments directly to children so it takes direct
responsibility for the care of children, the elderly and the disabled. This
imposes a number of requirements on the family. For example, if a family
receives the necessary social services from the state, then the woman must have
a guaranteed opportunity to change the fate of the unemployed housewife, the
chance to get a job and make a career. Esping-Andersen notices that the most
prominent feature of the socio-democratic regime is the fusion of prosperity
and labor activity. It implies guarantees of full employment and compliance of
remuneration to the efforts made. On the one hand, the right to employment has
an equal status with the right to protect labor incomes. On the other hand, the
costs of maintaining a Universalist decommodifying system of general welfare
are enormous. This means that all efforts should be directed to the maximum
solution of social problems and to maximize the effective use of income. The
most appropriate means to achieve such goals is to increase the number of
employed and reduce the number of people living at the expense of social
contributions (Esping-Andersen, 1990).