The Moral Economy of Welfare States: Britain and Germany Compared, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Moral Economy of Welfare States

Britain and Germany Compared, 1st Edition

By Steffen Mau


238 pages

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This book investigates why people are willing to support an institutional arrangement that realises large-scale redistribution of wealth between social groups of society. Steffen Mau introduces the concept of 'the moral economy' to show that acceptance of welfare exchanges rests on moral assumptions and ideas of social justice people adhere to. Analysing both the institution of welfare and the public attitudes towards such schemes, the book demonstrates that people are neither selfish nor altruistic; rather they tend to reason reciprocally.


'The review is persuasive on both empirical and theoretical grounds and achieves its aims of adding substance to literature on attitude surveys which so often raise questions rather than provide answers … This is no mean achievement.'

Social Policy Issue 3, 2004.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Political Economy of the Welfare State

This series presents leading edge research on the recasting of European welfare states. The series is interdisciplinary, featuring contributions from experts in economics, political science and social policy. The books provide a comparative analysis of topical issues, including:

  • reforms of the major social programmes - pensions, health, social security
  • the changing political cleavages in welfare politics
  • policy convergence and social policy innovation
  • the impact of globalization.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy