Changing Welfare States is 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 economic, social, and political restructuring, including the critically important dimension of European integration. 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 welfare retrenchments, there have been deliberate attempts to rebuild social programs and institutions to accommodate policy repertoires to the new economic and social realities of the 21st century in many advanced European welfare states. 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 new social realities.
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Anton Hemerijck was director of the Netherlands Council for Government Policy (WRR) between 2001 and 2009. In that period he also held a Chair in Comparative European Social Policy, Department of Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He studied economics at Tilburg University (1979-1986). He obtained his doctorate from Oxford University in 1993. He publishes widely on issues comparative social and economic policy and institutional policy analysis. Between 1997 and 2000 he was a Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the study of societies, working on the large comparative project on welfare and work in the open economy, directed by Fritz W. Scharpf and Vivien A. Schmidt. He is the Dean of The Faculty of the Social Sciences, Professor of Institutional Policy Analysis and Vice-Rector of International Affairs at VU University, Amsterdam.
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 * 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 * 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. * ...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 * 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 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. * Goran Therborn, University of Cambridge *
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