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This is a solid, priceworthy overview of recent welfare state developments in the European Union. In other words, it is a recommendable textbook for courses on European social policy ... you will benefit from learning professor Hemerijck's knowledge about European social policies in the 1990s-2000s. (Göran Therborn, University of Cambridge)
This is an excellent text for post-graduate students in social policy who require a timely, broad and balanced analysis of reforms experienced by European polities and societies in recent decades. Cross-national differences are portrayed clearly, illustrating states' capacity for manouver even within a time of crisis and restructuring. A very encouraging text book for students and professionals. (Sue Vella, University of Malta,)
...this is an important book which will stimulate critical debate on a number of issues. The author's use of data is extensive and impressive and his thorough knowledge and documentation of European social policy will be a major resource for international social policy scholars who wish to understand the complexities of recent trends in the region (James Midgley, University of California, Berkeley)
Hemerijck outlines a "Social Investment Pact" and Social Union wherein national welfare states are re-embedded at the European level and integrated with EU-markets. The European social space he describes is one that could accommodate large-scale trans-European investment of the sort needed to save major parts of Europe from becoming entrapped in a permanent economic depression. We can opt for a caring Europe or an unraveling Europe, and Hemerijck's well-researched book makes the choice clear. (Stephan Leibfried, Professor of Political Science, University of Bremen and Jacobs University Bremen.)
Anton Hemerijck's Changing Welfare States is a tour de force. Ranging broadly across countries, time periods, and policy areas, the book provides an overview of where we have been and where we might fruitfully go in terms of welfare state policy. The theoretical framework he advances deftly combines the best of institutional accounts and policy learning models into a realistic view of the possibilities of politics within evolving institutional constraints. Essential reading for scholars and policy makers alike. (Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science, MIT)
This book is to be admired for its ambition and scope, especially in terms of the sheer breadth of policies under consideration. (Ive Marx, Public Administration)
Changing Welfare States is a major new examination of the wave of social reform that has swept across Europe over the past two decades. In a comparative fashion, it analyses reform trajectories and political destinations in an era of rapid socioeconomic restructuring, including the critical impact of the global financial crisis on welfare state futures. The book argues that the overall scope of social reform across the member states of the European Union varies widely. In some cases welfare state change has been accompanied by deep social conflicts, while in other instances unpopular social reforms received broad consent from opposition parties, trade unions and employer organizations. The analysis reveals trajectories of welfare reform in many countries that are more proactive and reconstructive than is often argued in academic research and the media. Alongside retrenchments, there have been deliberate attempts - often given impetus by intensified European (economic) integration - to rebuild social programs and institutions and thereby accommodate welfare policy repertoires to the new economic and social realities of the 21st century. Welfare state change is work in progress, leading to patchwork mixes of old and new policies and institutions, on the lookout, perhaps, for greater coherence. Unsurprisingly, that search process remains incomplete, resulting from the institutionally bounded and contingent adaptation to the challenges of economic globalization, fiscal austerity, family and gender change, adverse demography, and changing political cleavages.
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