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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2008): Welfare state - overseas

Gender equality and welfare politics in Scandinavia: the limits of political ambition?

K. Melby, A. Ravn and C. Carlsson Wetterberg (editors)

Bristol: Policy Press, 2008

Gender equality is often seen as a hallmark of the Nordic countries. This book explores this notion by examining the meanings of gender that underpin policies in the Scandinavian welfare states, historically and today. The book focuses on three Scandinavian countries - Denmark, Norway and Sweden - and explores the policy reforms that have occurred relating to family and care. Beginning with the radical marriage reform carried through in all the three countries in the early decades of the 20th century, the book progresses to explore contemporary challenges to the traditional model of equality, including equal rights for fathers, multiculturalism and a critical young generation. The book focuses on differences as well as similarities between the countries and discusses the relevance of talking about a Nordic model. Stressing the importance of viewing the concept of equality in its historical context, the book critically investigates and discusses the Scandinavian 'success story' portrayed in normative political theory and presents an historical analysis of the development of gendered citizenship rights.

Social policies, labour markets and motherhood: a comparative analysis of European countries

D. Del Boca and C. Wetzels (editors)

Cambridge: CUP, 2008

The relationship between fertility and the participation rate of women in the workforce is an increasingly important area of study for economists, demographers and policy-makers. Recent data show important differences in the relationship between employment rates of women and fertility across Europe. For example, in southern Europe, low fertility rates are combined with low rates of female participation. In contrast, Nordic countries are experiencing relatively high fertility rates combined with high female labour market participation. The book analyses the effects of policies aiming to reconcile motherhood and labour market participation. Making extensive use of European Community Household Panel data, it compares the outcomes of policies in several European countries, analysing why they succeed in some environments but not in others.

Transnational community enterprises for social welfare in global civil society

D.L. Poole and N. Negi

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 17, 2008, p. 243-246

Globalisation has created the phenomenon of transmigration. This term refers to groups of people who leave their homes temporarily to work abroad while maintaining strong political and cultural links with their country of origin. Civil society organisations need to expand their vision to support the health and social wellbeing of people whose lives transcend national boundaries. Such organisations would play an active role in enhancing the wellbeing of the home and host communities simultaneously.

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