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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2005): Welfare State - Overseas

Childbearing and well-being: a comparative analysis of European welfare regimes

A. Aassve, S. Mazzuco and L. Mencarini

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.15, 2005, p.283-299

Using a sample of women drawn from the European Community Household Panel Survey, authors make a comparison of the impact of childbearing on well-being using a welfare regime classification. Results show that childbearing never has a positive impact on mothers' material wellbeing. However, women in social democratic welfare states suffer the least as a result of childbearing, whereas women in Mediterranean and conservative states suffer significantly more. For liberal welfare states the results are more mixed, and depend on the definition of well-being.

Cultural traditions and the Scandinavian social policy model

K. Lin

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.723-739

Article explores how the social, political and economic institutions of Scandinavian agrarian societies influenced the development of the welfare state.

Ideas and welfare state reform in Western Europe

P. Taylor-Gooby (editor)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005

Social policies across Europe are now being transformed to meet the demands of globalisation, population aging, changing labour markets and the new economic pressures from the European open market. The book analyses the ideas that lie behind the new policies and explores how far a market-centred paradigm lies at the heart of the reforms.

Interaction between voluntary and statutory social service provision in Sweden: a matter of welfare pluralism, substitution or complementarity?

L. Dahlberg

Social Policy and Administration, vol.39, 2005, p.740-763

Increased expectations of voluntary organisations and their relationship to statutory service provision have been discussed in terms of the competing theories of welfare pluralism, complementarity theory and substitution theory. This article examines the variation in welfare service provision by voluntary organisations and local authorities in Sweden in the light of these theories. The study found no evidence to support substitution theory. Nor did local authorities and voluntary organisations provide alternative services in the same municipality, so the support for welfare pluralism was also weak. Complemarity theory was supported, since municipalities and voluntary organisations rarely offered the same kind of services at a local level.

Is the future American? Or, can Left politics preserve European welfare states from erosion through growing 'racial' diversity?

P. Taylor-Gooby

Journal of Social Policy, vol.34, 2005, p.661-672

The future of the European welfare state is in question due to economic globalisation, population ageing, and EU aspirations to create an open market to rival that of the US. An important recent critique of the welfare state project argues that social cohesion and ethnic diversity are incompatible, and that as Europe grows more diverse, support for the welfare state will wither. An influential variant of this argument uses statistical modelling to demonstrate that greater ethnic diversity accounts for the failure of the US to develop political support for a welfare state along European lines. This article demonstrates that the model fails to take account the influence of the Left in European politics. There is evidence that the Left substantially counteracts the impact of greater diversity on welfare states in Europe.

Mixed welfare systems and hybrid organizations: changes in the governance and provisions of social services

A. Evers

International Journal of Public Administration, vol.28, 2005, p.737-748

It is argued that changes in the development of welfare states (such as trends towards greater autonomy of single service organisations and an increased intertwining of state and market spheres), linked to the impact of new forms of participation in civil society, have led to a hybridisation process in many organisations that provide social services. Public services may take on characteristics that were traditionally a hallmark of voluntary organisations, such as links to local or group-specific settings, while conversely many service-providing voluntary organisations have been increasingly influenced by state funding and regulation. At the same time managerialism and competition have grown in importance across all sectors.

A modern social dimension for Europe: principles for reform

D. Blunkett and A. Johnson


Discusses the implications of economic globalisation and population ageing for European welfare states. Emphsizes the need to improve economic performance and discussees the implications of this for the labour market and education and training.

Policy coordination, social indicators and the social policy agenda of the European Union

J.S. O'Connor

Journal of European Social Policy, vol.15, 2005, p.345-361

Paper traces the development of the European Social Model from recognition of the right to equal pay for men and women in the Treaty of Rome to agreement of a Social Policy Agenda in 2000 and the adoption of an open method of coordination (OMC) in employment (1997), social inclusion (2000) and pensions (2002). The associated framework of social indicators is considered in terms of the measurement of poverty and social exclusion on a multi-dimensional basis. Reasons for the shift from directives to the OMC are discussed, as are the proposed extension and streamlining of that process and its synchronisation with economic and employment policy in 2006.

Public sector reform and women’s work in Poland: 'working for juice, coffee and cheap cosmetics!'

A. Stenning and J. Hardy

Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 12, 2005. p. 503-526

This article looks at the profound impact of market-driven reforms in the Polish health and education sectors and considers their implications for women and their work. The impacts of the reforms and the experiences of women workers are discussed through the themes of changing employment levels, the restructuring of working conditions, job security, wages, training, and the double burden of balancing domestic and work lives.

Social policy and economic development in the Nordic countries

O. Kangas and J. Palme (editors)

Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005

The book examines the relationship between Nordic social policy and economic development from a comparative perspective. It identifies the driving forces behind the development of the Nordic welfare model and the problems and dilemmas the model is facing. It examines Nordic social policies on unemployment, social care, family, education and health-care policies and reviews future challenges for the welfare state in the information society.

The territorial politics of welfare

N. McEwen and L. Moreno (editors)

Abingdon, Routledge, 2005

The book provides a comprehensive examination of the expansion and ongoing development of the European welfare state within the context of territorial politics. The book includes country studies of the UK, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, the Nordic countries and Canada, addressing key questions such as:

  • Did the expansion of state welfare provide a basis for national unity?
  • Has the retreat from state welfare weakened state national identity?
  • How are democratic accountability and territorial subsidiarity taken into account at both national and regional levels of welfare provision?
  • Can the European Union draw upon its developing role in social policy to generate a sense of belonging and attachment to the European 'community'?

Welfare state and relative poverty in rich Western democracies, 1967-1997

D. Brady

Social Forces, vol.83, 2005, p.1329-1364

This study investigates the welfare state's relationship with poverty in 18 rich Western democracies with multiple measures of the welfare state and poverty and economic and demographic controls. It provides evidence that the welfare state effectively reduces poverty. The analysis shows that social security transfers and public health spending significantly reduce poverty. There is less robust evidence that social wages reduce poverty, while public employment and military spending do not significantly affect it. The welfare state's effects are far larger than economic or demographic sources of poverty. The significant features of the welfare state entirely account for any differences in poverty between welfare state regimes, and these features have similar effects across welfare state regimes. The welfare state's effects on poverty did not change in the 1990s.

Welfare state reform in Southern Europe: Fighting poverty and social exclusion in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece

M. Ferrera (editor)

Abingdon, Routledge, 2005

The book analyses policies to combat poverty and social exclusion in Southern Europe in the wider framework of welfare state modernization. The specific focus is on innovations, experiments and debates relating to the guarantee of a minimum income to individuals and households lacking sufficient resources. The chapters on Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece are organized around a common structure and include discussion of:

  • Welfare state development in a historical perspective
  • Poverty trends and anti-poverty policies.
  • Debates and initiatives in the field of minimum income

Working mothers in Europe: a comparison of policies and practices

U. Gerhard, T. Knijn and A. Weckwert (editors)

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2005

The book combines comparative perspectives on social policies with analyses of mothers' practices as evidenced in macro data as explored in country based case studies. It explores the ways in which working mothers manage to combine care responsibilities and paid work on the basis of diverse public and private resources.

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