Welfare and the Welfare State: Present and Future, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Welfare and the Welfare State

Present and Future, 1st Edition

By Bent Greve


220 pages | 11 Color Illus.

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The welfare state plays a key role in people’s everyday lives in developed societies. At the same time, the welfare state is contested and there are constant discussions on how and to what degree the state should intervene, influence and have an impact on the development of society. Recent years have seen an accelerated transformation of the welfare state in the light of the global financial crisis, demographic change and changes in the perception of the state’s role in relation to social welfare. This raises fundamentally new issues related to social policy and welfare state analysis. This book provides:


  • an introduction to the principles of welfare
  • a conceptual framework necessary for understanding social policy at the macro-level
  • a comparative approach to welfare states globally
  • an overview of new ways to organise and steer welfare states
  • an introduction to welfare state politics and underlying economic framework
  • an account of equality and inequality in modern societies
  • new directions for welfare states


The book’s focus on core concepts and the variety of international welfare state regimes and mechanisms for delivering social policy provides a much needed introduction to the rapidly changing concept of welfare for students on social policy, social studies, sociology and politics courses.


When people talk about the welfare state, they often discover that the meaning of the term varies across countries. Professor Greve makes an excellent contribution to clarify and simplify our understanding of the vast beast we call the welfare state. This book offers precise definitions and illustrations of the concepts and programs that comprise it. For the student new to the study of the welfare state, this book is invaluable. For the seasoned scholar of social welfare, the book provides sharp summaries of current research and trends. - Robert Henry Cox, Professor and Director of the Walker Institute for International and Area Studies, University of South Carolina

An essential read when it comes to considering the welfare state’s future. This remarkable book is a crucial contribution in considering the issue in a context where, after the global financial crisis, many components of the welfare systems have to be reconsidered. For instance: the respective role of the state, civil society and market, but also the governance of these systems to guarantee the pursuit of well-being in a context of strong inequality challenges. - Claude Martin, Chair on Social Care, CNRS, France

Table of Contents

Part I: Central Concepts 1. Introduction 1.1. What are the Central Issues? 1.2. Overview of the Book 2. What is Welfare? Some basic concepts 2.1. Introduction 2.2. What is Welfare? 2.3. Some Basic Principles, Concepts and Policies 2.4. State, Market and Civil Society 2.5. Social Indicators – new ways of measuring well-being 2.6. Balancing Perspectives of Equity and Efficiency 2.7. Summing up 3. Welfare States and Welfare Regimes 3.1. Introduction 3.2. What is the Welfare State? 3.3. What are Welfare Regimes? 3.4. Welfare Regimes and Welfare Typologies 3.5. Change and drivers for change 3.6. Emergent Welfare Regimes 3.7. Social Investment and Other Perspectives 3.8. Summing up Part II: State, Market and Civil Society 4: The State 4.1. Introduction 4.2. Public, Fiscal and Occupational Welfare 4.3. The Level and Composition of State Welfare in Different Types of Welfare Regimes 4.4. Fiscal and Occupational Welfare and their Impact 4.5. Choice and Equality/Inequality 4.6. Summing Up 5. Financing the Public Sector 5.1. Introduction 5.2 Principles of how to Finance the Public Sector 5.3. Regional and Global Economic Development and Sustainable Financing 5.4. Impact of Demography on Financing the Welfare State 5.5. Summing Up 6. The Role of the Market 6.1. Introduction 6.2. Market and Government-Failure 6.3. The Financial Market – A case history 6.4. Marketisation of Welfare Provision 6.5. Summing-up 7. The Labour Market: Employment and unemployment 7.1. Introduction 7.2. What is the Labour Market? 7.3. Consequences of Being or not Being in the Labour Market 7.4. Active Labour Market Policy – Stick or carrot? 7.5. Changes in Industrial Relations 7.6. Labour Market Regimes – New structuring of societies 7.7. Global and Regional Impact – Free-movement of workers 7.8. Summing up 8. Civil Society 8.1. Introduction 8.2 The Welfare Mix 8.3 Work-Family Balance 8.4 Social Capital 8.5. Summing Up PART III: Equality and Specific Groups Position in the Welfare States 9. Equality and Inequality 9.1. Introduction 9.2. Theoretical Understandings of Equality and Inequality 9.3. Measuring Equality/Inequality 9.4. The Welfare State and Equality 9.5. Summing up 10. Different Groups’ Position in Welfare States. 10.1. Introduction 10.2. Gender Inequality 10.3. People with Disabilities 10.4. Age Discrimination 10.5. Race and Ethnicity 10.6. Exclusion/Inclusion and Policies to Combat Exclusion 10.7. Social Inheritance – Or the risk of reinforcing outcome generations after generations 10.8. Summing up Part IV: New Ways and International Perspectives 11. New Ways of Steering the Welfare State 11.1. Introduction 11.2 What is Governance In Welfare States? 11.3. Decentralisation, Devolution – The changed role of the actors – and possible consequences 11.4. Evidence and Evaluation as Steering Instruments 11.5. New Ways of Steering Individuals 11.6 Welfare Technology and Social Innovation 11.7. Summing up 12. The Role of the EU in the Development of Welfare States 12.1. Introduction 12.2. The Role of the EU In Relation to Welfare State Policies 12.3. Convergence or Divergence in the Development of European Welfare States 12.4. Impact of Europeanisation and Globalisation on the Welfare State 12.5 Summing up 13. Is there a Future for the Welfare state? 13.1. Introduction 13.2. Demographic Challenges 13.3. European and Global Challenges 13.4. Future Legitimacy of the Welfare State 13.5. Summing Up –The future

Subject Categories

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