1st Edition

The Politics of Welfare State Transformation in Germany Still a Semi-Sovereign State?

By Christof Schiller Copyright 2016
    294 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How can we best analyse contemporary welfare state change? And how can we explain and understand the politics of it? This book contributes to these questions both empirically and theoretically by concentrating on one of the least likely cases for welfare state transformation in Europe. It analyzes in detail how and why institutional change has taken Germany’s welfare state from a conservative towards a new work-first regime.

    Christof Schiller introduces a novel analytical framework to make sense of the politics of welfare state transformation by providing the missing link: the capacity of the core executive over time. Examining the policy making process in labour market policy in the period between 1980 and 2010, he identifies three different policy making episodes and analyses their interaction with developments and changes in such policy areas as pension policy, family policy, labour law, tax policy and social assistance. The book advances existing efforts aimed at conceptualizing and measuring welfare state change by proposing a clear-cut conceptualization of social policy regime change and introduces a comprehensive analysis of the transformation of the welfare-work nexus between 1980 and 2010 in Germany.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars of social policy, comparative welfare state reform, welfare politics, government, governance, public policy, German politics, European politics, political economy, sociology and history.

    1: Introduction: The Politics of Welfare State Transformation in Germany Part I: Analyzing Welfare State Change Chapter 2: Understanding Institutional Reform in the Welfare-Work Nexus Chapter 3: Explaining Social Policy Regime Change: The Range of Approaches Chapter 4: The Missing Link: Bringing the State Back In Part II: Welfare State Transformation in Germany Chapter 5: Full Male Employment and Familialism in Decline, Austerity on the Rise Chapter 6: From Conservatism towards a New Work-First Model  Part III: Three Policy Making Episodes in German Labour Market Policy Chapter 7: Dualization and Drift by Consensus 1980 - 1992 Chapter 8: Symbolic Adjustment through Institutional Layering 1993 – 2000 Chapter 9: Conversion and Displacement through Active Policy Making 2001 – 2010 Chapter 10: Conclusion: The Role of the State in Welfare State Reform (Research)


    Christof Schiller is a Fellow at the Potsdam Center for Policy and Management at the University of Potsdam, Germany.

    "Based on sophisticated theoretical reasoning and careful empirical analysis covering a period of 30 years, this book makes the strong case that Germany no longer represents a conservative but rather a ‘work-first’ welfare state. Schiller’s intriguing thesis of such a regime change is well-argued and is bound to become a major contribution to the debate about the causes, and the consequences, of reforming key social policy programmes in advanced welfare states." - Jochen Clasen, University of Edinburgh, UK.

    "Schiller tackles up front two major issues within the current welfare state literature: how to measure policy change and how to enact institutional change. He demonstrates how the politico-administrative system successfully facilitated a profound transformation of the German welfare state over the past thirty years. This is a must read for anyone interested in the role of core executive in welfare state reform, the conceptualisation of policy change and the future of the German welfare state." - Patrik Marier, Concordia University, Canada.