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Welfare States in the 21st Century

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Welfare States in the 21st Century

The New Five Giants Confronting Societal Progress

9781800370784 Edward Elgar Publishing
Ian Greener, Professor of Social Policy, University of Strathclyde, UK and Adjunct Professor, University of Adelaide, Australia
Publication Date: March 2022 ISBN: 978 1 80037 078 4 Extent: c 176 pp
On the 80th anniversary of Beveridge’s report on the ‘Five Giants’ confronting societal progress in the 1940s, this innovative book examines the ‘New Giants’ confronting us today: inequality, preventable mortality, the crisis of democracy, job quality, and environmental degradation. Ian Greener uses Qualitative Comparative Analysis and cluster analysis across 24 countries to analyse which countries are the highest performing in relation to each of the New Giants, and what they have in common.

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On the 80th anniversary of Beveridge’s report on the ‘Five Giants’ confronting societal progress in the 1940s, this innovative book examines the ‘New Giants’ confronting us today: inequality, preventable mortality, the crisis of democracy, job quality, and environmental degradation. Ian Greener uses Qualitative Comparative Analysis and cluster analysis across 24 countries to analyse which countries are the highest performing in relation to each of the New Giants, and what they have in common.

The book indicates that confronting the New Giants requires more participative modes of governance, as well as a greater commitment to redistributing wealth and achieving higher levels of education. Greener also highlights how higher levels of globalization, so long as they are combined with these factors, can be compatible with confronting the New Giants. The book further considers how these factors combined in countries with lower levels of mortality in the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This will be critical reading for social policy and politics scholars and policy makers interested in comparative analysis. The clear explanation of the research methods used in the book will be useful to advanced level students and researchers in the field.
Critical Acclaim
‘How can Beveridge’s “five giants” be rearticulated as key social problems in contemporary society? Which countries do better than others in responding to these problems and why? These are important questions, and Ian Greener’s book addresses them with a fascinating and original analysis, making use of a combination of comparative methods which help to illustrate the different ways in which countries deal with societal challenges. This book is a “must read” for all those interested in the role of social policies and institutions in modern welfare states.’
– Jochen Clasen, The University of Edinburgh, UK

‘This text is essential reading for the study of comparative social policy. It explores and accounts for the five “New Giants” for 24 developed nations using the relatively novel approach of Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). It is the right book at the right time by the right person.’
– Martin Powell, University of Birmingham, UK
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