Routledge Handbook of European Welfare Systems

2nd Edition

Sonja Blum, Johanna Kuhlmann, Klaus Schubert

Routledge
December 12, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 600 Pages
ISBN 9780367259150 - CAT# 302403
Series: Routledge International Handbooks

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Summary

Published ten years after the first edition, this new handbook offers topical, and comprehensive information on the welfare systems of all twenty-eight EU member states and their recent reforms, giving the reader an invaluable introduction and basis for comparative welfare research. Additional chapters provide detailed information on EU social policy, as well as comparative analyses of European welfare systems and their reform pathways. For this second edition, all chapters have been updated and substantially revised, and Croatia additionally included.

The second edition of this handbook is most timely, given the often-fundamental welfare state transformations against the background of the financial and economic crises, transforming social policy ideas, as well as political shifts in a number of European countries. The book sets out to analyse these new developments when it comes to social policy. In a first part, all country chapters provide systematic and comparable information on the foundations of the different national welfare systems and their characteristics. In a second part, using a joint conceptual foundation, they focus on policy changes (especially of the last two decades) in different social policy areas, including old-age, labour market, family, health-care, and social assistance policies.

As the comparative chapters conclude, European welfare system landscapes have been in constant motion in the last two decades. While austerity is not to be seen on the aggregate level, the in-depth country studies show that all policy sectors have been characterised by different reform directions and ideas. The findings not only reveal both change and continuity, but also policy reversal as a distinct type that characterises social policy reform. The book provides a rich resource to the international welfare state research community, and is also useful for social policy teaching.

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