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Comparative Welfare State Politics


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Table of Contents

Introduction. The political opportunities and constraints of welfare state reform; 1. The welfare state: dynamic development, crisis, resilience, and change; 2. The logics of the welfare state: why did we need a welfare state in the first place and how did we get it?; 3. Welfare state regimes: why did we get different worlds of welfare and do we still have them?; 4. What do welfare states actually do? How welfare states protect against social risks and fight poverty and inequality; 5. Toward an open functional approach to welfare state reform; 6. Why do we need to reform the welfare state?: Part I. Globalization as a functional pressure coming from the outside; 7. Why do we need to reform the welfare state: Part II. Post-industrial society and the functional pressures to reform coming from within; 8. Why do politicians and governments pursue risky reforms?; 9. Can and will the welfare state survive the great recession?

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Kees van Kersbergen and Barbara Vis explain the political opportunities and constraints of welfare state reform in advanced democracies.

About the Author

Kees van Kersbergen is Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University in Denmark. Barbara Vis is Professor of Political Decision-Making in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at VU University Amsterdam.


'This fine book tackles sweeping questions about welfare states in industrialized democracies, such as why these welfare states emerged, how they differ, what they do, and why their politicians pursue politically risky reforms … The book, which includes an extensive bibliography of comparative welfare state research, would substantially benefit research libraries and graduate and upper-level undergraduates interested in political economy and the politics of social welfare. Summing up: highly recommended.' D. B. Robertson, Choice

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