Changing Welfare States
Social and Political Sciences
Geographical scope:
Northern Europe; North America
Chronological scope:
19th to 21st centuries

A key finding and theoretical puzzle in comparative welfare state research has been the remarkable stability of welfare states. Recently, however, it has become clear that advanced welfare states were (far) less immoveable than they seemed at first. In fact, speaking of changing welfare states captures much better the actual reforms that were taking place.
This series Changing Welfare States is about the trajectories of those changes. Have there been pathbreaking welfare innovations or are the changes incremental instead? Are welfare states moving in a similar or even convergent direction, or are they embarking on divergent trajectories of change? What new policies have been added, by which kind of political actors, how, and with what consequences for competitiveness, employment, income equality and poverty, gender relations, human capital formation, or fiscal sustainability? What is the role of the European Union in shaping national welfare state reform?
This series answers these and related questions by studying the socioeconomic, institutional and political conditions for welfare state change, its governance, and its outcomes across a diverse set of policy areas. The policy areas can address traditional ?old? social risks like old age, unemployment, sickness (including the health care system), disability and poverty and inequality in general, or ?new? social risks that have arisen mainly due to post-industrialization, such as reconciling work and family life, non-standard employment, and low and inadequate skills. In addition to focusing on the welfare state more narrowly defined, the series also welcomes publication on related areas, such as the housing market. The overriding objective of the series is tracing and explaining the full trajectories of contemporary welfare state change and its outcomes.


Please note that this series has now been discontinued.

In all advanced Western nations, policy-makers have implemented encompassing welfare state reforms in recent decades breaking with past welfare arrangements. In particular, social democracy engaged in...
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Why do governments still negotiate with trade unions and employers in the design of labour market and welfare reforms despite the steady decline of trade union membership almost everywhere in Europe?...
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This book provides an extensive and comparative account of all welfare reforms that occurred during the last three decades in Continental European countries. It reveals unexpected important structural...
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A social revolution has taken place in Europe. Women's employment patterns changed drastically the last decades. But they are still different across Europe. Welfare state scholars often presume that...
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Advanced welfare states are said to be facing, in the words of Pierre Rosanvallon, a "New Social Question". The idea here, and it is a widely shared one, is that the transition from an industrial to a...
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Globalization, financial liberalization and neo-liberal economic policy thinking have been seen as contributors to the demise of social partnership in Western Europe. Recent examples of the...
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The Netherlands and Belgium exemplified the pathology of ‘welfare without work’ that characterized continental welfare states — until a political crisis in both countries produced a surprising...
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Pension reform has emerged as a major political issue in most advanced welfare states. Sluggish economic growth and rising unemployment put public pension systems under increasing financial pressure....
€ 52,95
Why did some economies experience a boom in the 1990s? Employment ‘Miracles’ comparatively analyses select miracle economies. The contributors to the volume critically analyze how the small size...
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Items 11 until 19 from 1912