Survival of the European Welfare State
This work seeks to provide a novel perspective on the condition of European welfare states. The challenges to the welfare state are indisputable, ranging from changing demographic, social and family structures to high levels of unemployment, rising entitlements and the growth of social expenditure. "Crisis", "breakdown" and "dismantlement" have emerged as the catchphrases of both academic and media analyses of the European welfare states. This book challenges the premises behind such reductive attitudes, focusing instead on the survival of the welfare state and its possible future development. An international panel of experts offer transnational and national studies of social policy and welfare reform activities in West European countries during the 1990's, and reach the conclusion that voters and governments are unlikely to allow fundamental elements of the welfare state's architecture to collapse. This book provides an alternative, more optimistic interpretation of the position of the European welfare states on the threshold of the 21st century.
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