From Oxford University Press:
Changing Welfare States is 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.
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.
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