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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2011): Welfare state - overseas

The Europeanisation of social policies in Portugal

P. Adão e Silva

Portuguese Journal of Social Science, vol. 10, 2011, p. 3-22

This article provides a framework for the analysis of the Europeanisation of public policies by describing how three European social policy instruments were implemented in Portugal. The three instruments considered show a different convergence capacity, produce different levels of domestic transformation and belong to the European social policy sub-areas of social assistance, labour and employment. In the cases analysed, compliance tends to occur when the context is conducive and when the pressure to adapt to a European instrument coincides with a domestic policy agenda. Furthermore, the distinctive traits of each policy arena are essential to understanding the extent to which EU policy initiatives mobilise domestic coalitions and redistribute power, favouring some actors over others.

Opportunity and solidarity

P. Taylor-Gooby

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 40, 2011, p. 453-470

European welfare states have developed a range of services designed to meet social risks such as unemployment, sickness and retirement, with some expenditure on benefits to reduce poverty. More recently there has been a changed emphasis on individual responsibility and productivity through activation, more choice and voluntary additional pensions. There is a risk that this change may undermine to support for collective provision on which the welfare state rests. This paper uses data from the 2008 European Social Survey to examine whether the policy change may threaten the political legitimacy of welfare states.

Remixing the economy of welfare? Changing roles and relationships between the state and the voluntary and community sector

S. Baines, I. Hardill and R. Wilson (guest editors)

Social Policy and Society, vol.10, 2011, p. 337-432

Social and caring services are provided in developed economies by statutory bodies, the market, the family and the voluntary sector in different combinations. This themed section looks at the enrolment of the voluntary sector to achieve government agenda, including improved public services, community empowerment and building social capital. Mainstreaming of the voluntary sector has profound implications for individuals (service users, volunteers and paid workers) and for organisations and communities. Articles in the section address some of the diversity of voluntary sector roles in communities and in relationships with welfare policies, as well as involvement in direct public service delivery, focusing on England, Scotland and France.

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