Handbook of Quality of Life in the Enlarged European Union: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Handbook of Quality of Life in the Enlarged European Union

1st Edition

Edited by Jens Alber, Tony Fahey, Chiara Saraceno


448 pages | 89 B/W Illus.

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Recent enlargement to the east made the European Union a more diverse social space and brought it into more direct contact with the social and cultural aftermath of communism.

Sound empirical knowledge on heterogeneity and homogeneity in European societies after the EU enlargement is lacking. By bringing together a collection of informative analyses of key domains of social life in the new member states and candidate countries, viewed in comparison both to each other and to the 'old' EU-15, this handbook will help social scientists, policy makers and other observers cope with the unfamiliarity of this new world. In particular, it examines the implications of the new member states’ membership for the future course of EU integration. This substantial text contains seventeen chapters with a focus on social conditions, such as:

  • poverty and living conditions
  • social inclusion, life satisfaction
  • work and labour markets;
  • family and housing.

Making use of a range of data, this handbook will be an essential resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers of Sociology, Social Policy and Welfare, European Studies and European Union Policy.


"Each chapter is very well-informed, data driven, and relevant for addressing current questions about the condition among EU countries and trends set in motion by enlargement….Recommended."Choice, December 2008

Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction: The New Member States Before and After Accession Part 1: Fertility, Families and Households 1. Fertility Patterns and Aspirations in Europe Tony Fahey 2. Patterns of Family Living in Europe Chiara Saraceno 3. Is There a Generational Cleavage in Europe? Inter-Generational Patterns in the Perception of Pensions and Elderly Care Wolfgang Keck, Agnes Blome, and Jens Alber 4. Family Policies in the Enlarged European Union Thomas Bahle Part 2: Employment and Working Conditions 5. Employment Patterns in the Enlarged European Union Jens Alber 6. Working Conditions Claire Wallace and Florian Pichler 7. Regulation of Labour Markets in Europe Jelle Visser Part 3: Material Living Conditions 8. Poverty and Social Exclusion in an Enlarged Europe Christopher T. Whelan and Bertrand Maitre 9. Minimum Income Policies in Old and New Member States Bea Cantillon 10. Housing Conditions and Their Perception: The Paradox of Housing Henryk Domanski 11. Housing Policies and Institutional Drivers of Housing Inequalities Michelle Norris Part 4: Social Capital and Social Cohesion 12. Patterns of Sociability in the Enlarged Europe Manuela Olagnero and Paola Torrioni 13. Feeling Left Out: Patterns of Social Integration and Exclusion Petra Böhnke 14. Conflicts and Threats to Social Cohesion in New and Old Member States Jan Delhey and Wolfgang Keck Part 5: Processes of Europeanization 15. Patterns of Cross-Border Migration Hubert Krieger 16. Where we Stand in Europe: An Europeanization of Reference Groups for Social Comparisons? Jan Delhey and Ulrich Kohler 17. Conclusions: Similarities and Differences of Living Conditions: Does Europe Grow Together? The Editors 18. Methodological Appendix: A Quality Assessment of Different European Surveys: Towards an Open Method of Coordination for Survey Data Ulrich Kohler

About the Editors

Jens Alber is Professor of Sociology at the Free University Berlin and Director of the Unit "Inequality and social integration" at the Social Science Center, Berlin, which chaired the international consortium that analyzed the European Quality of Life Survey. He is the author of numerous books and articles in the field of comparative political sociology.

Tony Fahey is Professor in the Social Policy Research Division in the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin. He has published extensively on the family, religion, demography, the elderly, housing and various aspects of social policy.

Chiara Saraceno is Full Professor of Sociology at the University of Turin, Italy and Chair of the PhD programme in Comparative Social Research. She has written extensively on family changes and family policies, on poverty and social policies, on gender and women's issues.

Subject Categories

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