COVID-19 and Welfare State Transformation: Insights from Turkey's Poverty Policy

Ünal Erdem, Elvan
Welfare state transformation is a popular research area since the Golden Age of the welfare state per se. Although the dependent variable of the said transformation has changed in time, welfare state has always been questioned with its capacity to respond to emerging endogenous or exogenous challenges. COVID-19, which caught the entire world off-guard, constituted a critical challenge for several segments of the state apparatus, the welfare state chief among them. This study, upon this background, investigates the impact of COVID-19 on welfare state transformation, taking departure from Turkey's poverty policy. The study builds the analytical framework of transformation on policy paradigms approach and policy structure approach. On the basis of quantitative and qualitative data, the study identifies that although COVID-19 did not cause or give way to a full-fledged transformation in Turkey's poverty policy, it might be taken as a catalyzer for change, that is, a path-clearing event that removes certain obstacles to reformation or transformation efforts that already were under way and represents a policy-learning process for meaningful future change. The study also reveals that Turkey need a holistic poverty policy that integrates elements of emergency preparedness and addresses poverty as a violation of rights.
Citation Formats
E. Ünal Erdem, “COVID-19 and Welfare State Transformation: Insights from Turkey’s Poverty Policy,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.