The proliferation of literature within the domain of comparative welfare state research which engages with Esping-Andersen's (1990) study, is testimony to the significance of his work to this field. Overwhelmingly, however, this engagement is of a critical nature, and this is the case from within the mainstream perspective, as well as beyond it. While the focus of mainstream critiques varies considerably, four general camps are identifiable. Within the first, it is argued that Esping-Andersen's model of welfare state variation is inapplicable to specific nation states or groups of nation states. This critique has emerged as researchers attempt to apply Esping-Andersen's thesis to countries other than the 18 initially examined, for example: the Southern European countries (Abrahamson, 1991; Leibfried, 1992, 1993; Ferrera, 1996); some of the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Deacon, 1993); and East-Asian countries (Gould, 1993; Jones, 1993; Kwon, 1997).1 This body of work has tended to propose additions to the three-fold typology of Esping-Andersen such as the 'rudimentary' welfare state regime (Leibfried, 1993), the 'EastAsian' welfare model (Kwon, 1997) and the 'post-communist conservative corporatist' model (Deacon, 1993).