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Synopsis

This book is a narrative history of how and why Australia built a distinctive welfare regime, from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. It places the development of a welfare state in the 1940s in the context of what had gone before, showing that choices made in earlier decades constrained and still constrain what could then, and can now be imagined. It discusses the pre-history of a welfare system, and how Australia went from being a social laboratory at the start of the twentieth century to a 'welfare laggard' by mid-century.

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