Southern Europe has been hit hard by the global economic crisis and, as such, their welfare states have come under acute strain. Unmet need has sharply increased while significant welfare reforms and deep social spending cuts have been prominent in the crisis management solutions implemented by governments, labouring under EU constraints and the strict rescue-deal requirements for Greece and Portugal.
This volume provides a systematic comparative appraisal of welfare-state reform trajectories across Southern Europe prior to and during the crisis, and traces the impact of austerity policies and wider recession upon income inequality and poverty. It brings together a number of cross-country studies on major social policy areas, raising crucial questions. What policy choices are driving reforms as Southern European economies work their way out of fiscal difficulty? Can the crisis provoke the improvement of institutional capabilities and recalibration of social? Or, instead, does structural adjustment indicate a significant policy turn towards the erosion of social rights? The contributions critically approach these issues and bring evidence to bear upon whether Southern European welfare capitalisms are becoming more dissimilar.
This book was originally published as a special issue of South European Society & Politics.
1. Can the Welfare State as We Know It Survive? A View from the Crisis-Ridden South European Periphery
Maria Petmesidou & Ana M. Guillén
2.Reassessing South-European Pensions after the Crisis: Evidence from two Decades of Reforms
David Natali & Furio Stamati
3. South European Healthcare Systems under Harsh Austerity: A Progress-Regression Mix?
Maria Petmesidou, Emmanuele Pavolini & Ana M. Guillén
4. ‘Social Investment’ or back to ‘Familism’: The impact of the Economic Crisis on Family and Care Policies in Italy and Spain
Margarita León & Emmanuele Pavolini
5. Welfare Performance in Southern Europe: Employment Crisis and Poverty Risk
6. The Distributional Impact of Austerity and the Recession in Southern Europe
Manos Matsaganis & Chrysa Leventi
The parallel regime transitions of the 1970s, when Southern Europe was the vanguard of the ‘third wave’ of democratisation, the impact of EU membership and Europeanisation and more recently, the region’s central role in the eurozone crisis have all made Southern Europe a distinctive area of interest for social science scholars. The South European Society and Politics book series promotes new empirical research into the domestic politics and society of South European states. The series, open to a broad range of social science approaches, offers comparative thematic volumes covering the region as a whole and on occasion, innovative single-country studies. Its geographical scope includes both ‘old’ and ‘new’ Southern Europe, defined as Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey.