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Conventional texts on the welfare state have had a narrow gaze, focused mainly on benefits to the poor and relatively poor. Welfare and the State updates and broadens the classic debates on poverty, inequality and the nature of state. It focuses on the widest range of social policies, affecting the wealthy as well as the poor. It directs attention to gender, through examining women's welfare state and men's welfare state. It is concerned with the interests of those of non- dominant races both within nations and internationally. The results highlight the international applicability of the Matthew principle - 'to those that hath shall be given'.