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The OECD and European Welfare States

Edited by Klaus Armingeon, Chair of Political Science and Director, Institute of Political Science, University of Berne, Switzerland and Michelle Beyeler, University of Bern, Switzerland
The OECD and European Welfare States comprises 14 country studies considering OECD recommendations and their implementation in Western European welfare states, an analysis of the internal processes in the OECD, a theoretical introduction and a concluding comparative chapter. The overall results show a large degree of consistency in OECD analyses and recommendations, though little efficacy is revealed. The authors of this book have compiled a major contribution to the analysis of the impact of international organisations on national welfare states, widening the scope of traditional analyses of national welfare state development.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 978 1 84376 321 5
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Welfare States
The OECD includes the richest nations in the world. It issues recommendations on economic and social policies. Is its counsel on welfare state policies coherent? And is it followed by member states in Western Europe? These are the guiding questions of this book, which is a first to deal with such issues.

The OECD and European Welfare States comprises 14 country studies considering OECD recommendations and their implementation in Western European welfare states, an analysis of the internal processes in the OECD, a theoretical introduction and a concluding comparative chapter. The overall results show a large degree of consistency in OECD analyses and recommendations, though little efficacy is revealed. The authors of this book have compiled a major contribution to the analysis of the impact of international organisations on national welfare states, widening the scope of traditional analyses of national welfare state development.

This edited book will be of special interest to those researchers and graduate students in the fields of international business, welfare state policy and comparative politics. It will also appeal to policy makers concerned with the OECD or welfare state development.
‘. . . thanks to Klaus Armingeon and Michelle Beyeler the discussion on the role of the OECD in welfare policy has at last found a sound empirical basis. This is a very welcome contribution to a debate that is too often characterised by big claims and little evidence. . . this volume is highly recommended to all people interested in understanding the development and reform of the welfare state.’
– Fabrizio Gilardi, Swiss Political Science Review
Contributors: S. Álvarez, B. Ananiadis, K. Armingeon, F. Bertozzi, M. Beyeler, H. Binnema, E. Carroll, P. Graziano, A.M. Guillén, L.B. Kaspersen, N. Kildal, P. Kosonen, S. Kuhnle, N. Manning, M. Marcussen, S. Ó’Cinnéide, B. Palier, P. Pochet, P. Ryan, M. Serré, M. Svaneborg, R. Zohlnhöfer, J. Zutavern
Contents: 1. Introduction: A Comparative Study of the OECD and European Welfare States 2. Multilateral Surveillance and the OECD: Playing the Idea Game 3. The OECD as a Scientific Authority? The OECD’s Influence on Danish Welfare Policies 4. Finland: Considering OECD Guidelines but Within National Institutional Settings 5. Norway: An Amenable Member of the OECD 6. International Organisations and Welfare States at Odds? The Case of Sweden 7. Belgium: Increasing Critique by the OECD 8. France: Moving Reluctantly in the OECD’s Direction 9. The Netherlands: How OECD Ideas are Slowly Creeping In 10. Too Many Rivals? The OECD’s Influence on German Welfare Policies 11. Little Contention: Switzerland and the OECD 12. OECD Views on Greek Welfare: Not European Enough 13. Italy’s Adaptation Under External Pressures: Whose Influence? 14. The OECD and the Reformulation of Spanish Social Policy: A Combined Search for Expansion and Rationalisation 15. Mutual Admiration? OECD Advice to the UK 16. Ireland: Disinterested Commentary, But How Effective? 17. OECD and National Welfare State Development Index