Politics of Segmentation

Party Competition and Social Protection in Europe

By Georg Picot

© 2012 – Routledge

208 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138812468
pub: 2014-07-04
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415665612
pub: 2012-01-16
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

When political parties make policy decisions they are influenced by the competition they face from other parties. This book examines how party competition and party systems affect reforms of social protection. Featuring a historical comparison of Italy and Germany post-1945, the book shows how a high number of parties and ideological polarisation lead to fragmented and unequal social benefits.

Utilising a comparative approach, the author brings together two important issues in welfare state research that have been insufficiently investigated. Firstly, the complex influence of party competition on social policy-making, and second, how some social groups enjoy better social protection than others. Moving beyond the two countries of the case study, the book proposes an innovative framework for studying segmentation of social protection and applies this framework to a wider set of 15 advanced welfare states. Overall, this book draws together different strands of research on political parties and on welfare states, and introduces a new argument on how party politics shapes social policy.

An invaluable text on the political economy of the welfare state, Politics of Segmentation will be of interest to scholars of political economy, social policy and comparative politics.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Party Competition and Social Protection 2. Comparing Italy and Germany Part 1: Policy Segmentation Across Countries and Time 3. Segmentation of Unemployment Benefits in Advanced Welfare States Today 4. Italy and Germany: Policy Divergence after World War II 5. Italy and Germany: Changing Trends during Welfare State Restructuring Part 2: The Impact of Party Competition 6. Explaining Labour Market Reforms in Italy and Germany 7. Italy and Germany: Political Driving Forces behind Different Post-War Paths 8. Germany: Two Political Logics of Segmenting Reforms 9. Italy: Party System Change Facilitating De-Segmentation 10. Party Competition and Benefit Segmentation Across Advanced Welfare States 11. Conclusions and Future Research

About the Author

Georg Picot is Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy at the University of Oxford, UK.

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.

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Subject Categories

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