1st Edition

Social Capitalism A Study of Christian Democracy and the Welfare State

By Kees van Kersbergen Copyright 1995
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    Christian democracy has been the most successful political movement in post-war Western Europe yet its crucial impact on the development of the modern European welfare state has been critically neglected. In this study Kees van Kersbergen demonstrates the precise nature of the links between Christian democracy and the welfare state. Using a variety of sources the author describes the origin and development of the Christian democratic movement and presents comparative accounts of the varying degrees of political entrenchment of national christian democratic parties. Drawing upon cross-national indicators of welfare state development he identifies and explains the existence of a distinctively Christian democratic (as opposed to a liberal or social democratic) welfare state regime which he labels `social capitalism'. This book compares the different national contexts under which christian democratic social theory has been turned into political action. Kees van Keersbergen shows how the different social policy performances of crucial cases, (Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) have been affected not just by prevalent power structures but also by the coalitional strategies and political abilities of christian democratic parties.

    1 Introduction 2 The welfare state and Christian democracy: An Introduction 3 The political entrenchment of Christian democracy in Western Europe, 1870–1960 4 Christian democracy in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands: A closer comparison 5 Welfare state regimes and social spending 6 The quality of welfare state regimes 7 The structure of welfare state regimes 8 Social capitalism and Christian democracy 9 Catholicism and social citizenship: From charity to social justice? 10 The intellectual origins of Christian democracy and social capitalism 11 Conclusion


    Kees van Kersbergen