Routledge Handbook of European Welfare Systems: 2nd Edition (e-Book) book cover

Routledge Handbook of European Welfare Systems

2nd Edition

Edited by Sonja Blum, Johanna Kuhlmann, Klaus Schubert


592 pages

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pub: 2019-12-05
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Published ten years after the first edition, this new Handbook offers topical, and comprehensive information on the welfare systems of all 28 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 the first part, all country chapters provide systematic and comparable information on the foundations of the different national welfare systems and their characteristics. In the 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, healthcare, 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.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction 

1. Reform Pathways of European Welfare Systems: Analysing Change and Continuity in a Broadened Geographical and Temporal Perspective

Johanna Kuhlmann and Sonja Blum

Part 2: Country Studies 

2. Austrification in Welfare System Change? An Analysis of Welfare System Development in Austria between 1998 and 2018

August Österle and Karin Heitzmann 

3. Belgium’s Welfare System: Still Lagging After All These Years

Ive Marx and Lien Van Cant

4. The Bulgarian Welfare System: Reforms and Their Effects on Inequalities and Vulnerable Groups Between 1997 and 2018

Rumiana Stoilova and Veneta Krasteva

5. The Restructuring of the Cypriot Welfare System: Will the New Provision System Prove to be a Success?

Odysseas Christou and Christina Ioannou 

6. Hybridisation and Diversification Welfare System Developments Between 1993 and 2018 in the Czech Republic

Tomáš Sirovátka and Vojtěch Ripka 

7. The German Welfare System: The Calm After the Storm

Florian Blank

8. Denmark – A Universal Welfare System with Restricted Austerity

Bent Greve

9. The Welfare System in Estonia: Between Liberalism and Solidarity

Mare Ainsaar, Ave Roots, and Avo Trumm 

10. The Spanish Welfare System: Towards a New Social and Territorial Pact?

Paloma de Villota and Susana Vázquez-Cupeiro 

11. Still Holding Its Breath: The Finnish Welfare System under Reform

Juho Saari and Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen

12. The Recalibration of the French Welfare System

Patrick Hassenteufel and Bruno Palier

13. ‘Liberalising’ Social Protection amid Austerity in Greece

Stefanos Papanastasiou and Christos Papatheodorou

14. The Croatian Welfare System: A Lack of Coherent Policy Paradigm Followed by Inconsistent Policy Reforms?

Ivana Dobrotić

15. Pathway to a Punitive Workfare System: Hungary

Katalin Tausz

16. The Welfare System in Ireland Over the Last 20 Years

Mary Daly

17. The Italian Welfare System: An Incomplete Transition?

Igor Guardiancich and David Natali

18. The Lithuanian Welfare System Over the Last 20 Years of Democratic Transition: Achievements, Challenges and Future Prospects

Jolanta Aidukaite, Julija Moskvina, and Daiva Skuciene

19. Changes in Luxembourg’s Welfare System (1998–2018): Coalition Governments and Europeanisation as Major Driving Forces

Nicole Kerschen 

20. Social Policy Reforms in Latvia: Shift Towards Individual Responsibility of Welfare

Feliciana Rajevska and Olga Rajevska

21. The Maltese Welfare System: Hybrid Wine in Rightist Bottles? With Two-Sided Labels?

Charles Pace

22. The Dutch Participatory State: Shift from a Welfare System of Collective Solidarity Towards Individual Responsibility in a Participatory Society

Minna van Gerven

23. Politics of Welfare: The Polish Welfare System in the First Decades of the 21st Century

Renata Siemienska and Anna Domaradzka

24. The Portuguese Welfare System: A Late European Welfare System under Permanent Stress

José António Pereirinha and Maria Clara Murteira

25. The Romanian Welfare System: From the Shadow of Equality to the Dazzle of Dualisation

Cristina Raț, Livia Popescu, and Valentina Ivan

26. The Swedish Welfare System: The Neoliberal Turn and Most Recent Struggles Over Decentralised Top-down Re-regulation

Sven E.O. Hort, Lisa Kings, and Zhanna Kravchenko

27. Restructuring the Slovenian Welfare System: Between Economic Pressures and Future Challenge

Maša Filipovič Hrast and Tatjana Rakar

28. The Slovak Welfare System: From Turbulent Times to Stability

Ondrej Botek

29. The United Kingdom: New Devolved Welfare Systems in Britain

Christopher Deeming

Part 3: EU Social Policy and Comparative Perspectives 

30. European Union Social Policy: Facing Deepening Economic Integration and Demand for a More Social Europe With Continuity and Cautiousness

Miriam Hartlapp

31. The Development of Welfare State Spending in the EU, 1995–2015: A Quantitative Comparative Analysis

Karsten Mause

32. Landscapes in Motion: Welfare System Reform in 28 European Countries 1998–2018

Sonja Blum and Johanna Kuhlmann

About the Editors

Sonja Blum is Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute of Political Science, University of Hagen, and External Research Fellow at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Münster. Her research focuses on public policy analysis, comparative social policy, family policy, evidence use and learning in public policy. She has published in journals such as Critical Social Policy, European Policy Analysis, Policy Studies, Social Policy & Administration, and Social Politics and is co-editor of the Annual Review of Leave Policies & Related Research.

Johanna Kuhlmann is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre ‘Global Dynamics of Social Policy’ (CRC 1342), University of Bremen. She received her PhD from the University of Münster. Her current research focuses on public policy analysis and causal mechanisms of social policy dynamics. She has published in journals such as Policy Studies Journal, Review of Policy Research, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, and European Policy Analysis.

Klaus Schubert is Senior Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Münster. His research interests focus especially on comparative social policy, policy analysis, integration research, and pluralism. He has co-edited Challenges to European Welfare Systems (2016), Policy Analysis in Germany (2013), as well as the first edition of the Handbook of European Welfare Systems (2009), and is the co-editor of the journal European Policy Analysis (EPA).

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General