The welfare state is still very much central in people’s everyday lives. The welfare state is at the same time contested and debated, and has often been argued to be in a crisis not only in the wake of the financial crisis. Welfare and welfare states used to be a national issue and prerogative. Today welfare and welfare states are influenced by national as well as regional and global decisions. However, nation states play a decisive role influenced by national preferences and ideas, and, in recent years, populism and welfare chauvinism.
This book provides an overview of the central concepts through the lenses of the state, market and civil society. It also provides the reader with knowledge on distribution in societies and how this interacts and influences different groups and their position in society. There are also chapters dealing specifically with central sectors in the welfare states such as health, long-term care and education. The book uses a comparative approach as this better enables one to understand one’s own country's welfare, as well as helping to underline and see the linkages to the impact of global and regional issues on welfare states and their development. Finally, the book presents challenges and future perspectives for welfare states and their development.
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.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Central Concepts
2. What Is Welfare? Some Basic Concepts
3. Welfare States and Welfare Regimes
Part 2: State, Market and Civil Society
4. The State
5. Financing the Public Sector
6. The Role of the Market
7. The Labour Market: Employment and Unemployment
8. Civil Society
Part 3: Equality and Specific Groups Position in the Welfare States
9. Poverty, Equality and Inequality
10. Different Groups’ Position in Welfare States
Part 4: Core Social Policy Areas
11. Health Care
12. Long-Term Care
13. Pensions – Important in Old Age
Part 5: New Ways and International Perspectives
14. New Ways of Steering the Welfare State
15. The Role of the EU and Other International Organizations in the Development of Welfare States
16. Is There a Future for the Welfare State?
Bent Greve is Professor of Welfare State Analysis in the Department of Society and Business at Roskilde University, Denmark. He has published widely on different topics surrounding the welfare state, including technology and the labour market, happiness and social policy, labour market policy, and most recently on populism and the welfare state. He is editor of Social Policy and Administration.