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European Welfare States and Globalization

Strategies in an Era of Economic Restructuring Ali Hajighasemi, Associate Professor in Sociology and Social Policy, Södertörn University, Sweden
This timely book assesses how Europe’s welfare states have dealt with the challenges of globalisation and the financial crisis. It asks whether the European Union has adopted a general strategy for dealing with four major threats to the sustainable development of European societies: the employability of a growing number of redundant workers, an aging population, low birth rates and the persistent problem of gender inequality.

The book will be an important read for social policy scholars, particularly those focusing on European welfare states, how they differ and lessons to be learnt from them. It also highlights key lessons from a broad range of case studies to help policy makers in understanding how and where improvements may be made in the future.
Extent: c 352 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: November 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78990 555 7
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This timely book assesses how Europe’s welfare states have dealt with the challenges of globalization and the financial crisis. It asks whether the European Union has adopted a general strategy for dealing with four major threats to the sustainable development of European societies: the employability of a growing number of redundant workers, an ageing population, low birth rates and the persistent problem of gender inequality.

The book will be an important read for social policy scholars, particularly those focusing on European welfare states, how they differ and lessons to be learnt from them. It also highlights key lessons from a broad range of case studies to help policy-makers in understanding how and where improvements may be made in the future.
‘This book explores the recent history and current positions of a number of European welfare states – specifically Germany, Denmark, Poland and Italy. The author makes the case for the continuing contribution to socio-economic stability made by welfare states in an era that is generally considered to be hostile to “welfare” and public spending. Analysis of the various countries is contextualized by their membership of the EU and the impact of EU economic and social policies on their welfare systems.
Attention is paid to specific features of welfare – notably labour market policies. Outside these, the book explores issues of gender equality and fertility rates in the context of wide-ranging social and economic change.

This volume makes a very interesting contribution to continuing debates about European welfare systems. Students will learn a lot from reading it, particularly because the book covers Eastern European issues as well as the more familiar cases of Germany and the Nordic states. Students will also benefit from the analysis of the EU’s role in country-level social policies, which is limited but somehow “not nothing”. In addition, the book conveys the rather ambivalent place of the EU in “domestic” social policy very well.’
– Nicholas Ellison, University of York, UK
Contents: Introduction 1. ‘Social investment policy’ challenged in ‘the age of austerity’ 2. The impacts of the welfare system on a competitive market economy 3. The social dimension of the European Union: steady march forward 4. The five different types of European welfare model 5. The effects of different welfare models 6. Poland: Integration into the market economy and dismantling of social protections 7. Germany: How the ‘sick man of Europe’ became an ‘economic superstar’? 8. Italy: a welfare state for the established, and the constant exclusion of outsiders 9. Denmark: Danish flexicurity to combat chronic unemployment 10. Trends in fertility and EU initiatives 11. The gender equality strategies of the social models 12. Gender policy in the largest economy and in the most gender-equal 13. Conclusions: towards greater coordination of European welfare states Bibliography Index