Contradictions of the Welfare State: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Contradictions of the Welfare State

1st Edition

By Claus Offe

Edited by John Keane


308 pages

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Originally published in 1984, Contradictions of the Welfare State is the first collection of Claus Offe’s essays to appear in a single volume in English. The political writings in this volume are primarily concerned with the origins of the present difficulties of welfare capitalist states, and he indicates why in the present period, these states are no longer capable of fully managing the socio-political problems and conflicts generated by late capitalist societies. Offe discusses the viability of New Right, corporatist and democratic socialist proposals for restructuring the welfare state. He also offers fresh and penetrating insights into a range of other subjects, including social movements, political parties, law, social policy, and labour markets.

Table of Contents

List of figures


Editor’s Preface


Introduction, John Keane

1. ‘Crises of Crisis Management’: Elements of a Political Crisis Theory

2. ‘Ungovernability’: The Renaissance of Conservative Theories of Crisis

3. Social Policy and the Theory of the State

4. Theses on the Theory of the State

5. Legitimacy Versus Efficiency

6. Some Contradictions of the Modern Welfare State

7. The Separation of Form and Content in Liberal Democracy

8. Competitive Party Democracy and the Keynesian Welfare State

9. Political Culture and Social Democratic Administration

10. Alternative Strategies in Consumer Policy

11. European Socialism and the Role of the State

12. Reflections on the Welfare State and the Future of Socialism. An Interview


About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Welfare and the State

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1940 and 1994, draw together research by leading academics in the area of welfare and the state, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines the concepts of welfare in relation to the state through the areas of policy making, social administration, class division and social inequality, social policy and privatization, whilst also exploring the general principles and practices of the welfare state in various countries. This set will be of particular interest to students of sociology, politics, economics, social work respectively.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General