Expanding financialisation of the economy and society represents a constitutive feature of the neoliberal regime. This process is also underway in various domains of state action, including the welfare state. This article uses a case study of financialisation of a cash transfer programme–the establishment of the Israeli ‘Saving for Every Child’ programme–to tackle two main questions: Which political constellations are likely to promote financialisation in social policy? And, what are the ramifications of financialisation for the politics of the welfare state? The study suggests that in a context of conflict between redistributive demands and opposition to the decommodifying effects of universal cash benefits, financialisation provides a political solution which satisfies the former while subordinating it to principles of commodifying social investment. The study further indicates that the financialisation of redistributive policies changes the politics of the welfare state by making financial market actors and considerations an integral part of welfare policy-making processes.
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- Asset-based welfare
- Child allowances