Human Needs and the Welfare State


Human Needs and the Welfare State

9781035314263 Edward Elgar Publishing
Bent Greve, Professor in Social Science, Department of Social Sciences and Business, University of Roskilde, Denmark
Publication Date: 2024 ISBN: 978 1 03531 426 3 Extent: 146 pp
This unique and forward-thinking book explores how we understand needs in relation to the welfare state and to what extent we can, if at all, measure need.

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This unique and forward-thinking book explores how we understand needs in relation to the welfare state and to what extent we can, if at all, measure need.

Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, Bent Greve examines the paradoxes and contradictions present when assessing human needs and the welfare state, analysing whether it is possible to meaningfully measure the need for welfare benefits and services in modern societies. The book addresses the crucial question of how the welfare state decides to apportion support, contemplating which needs are society’s responsibility and which are the individual’s own. Comparing welfare states in Europe, it delivers an incisive contribution to the emerging body of literature on this topic and considers how best to balance demand and supply in a way that reduces the expectation on the state.

Presenting key arguments on a prescient issue, this book will be an excellent resource for students, researchers and academics interested in sociology and social policy, political sociology, health policy, economics and finance. Exploring the metric assessments of needs and the ways in which the state can deliver, it will also be of interest to professionals working in sustainable development, health and social care and social work.

Critical Acclaim
‘How are human needs defined and how are welfare states addressing them? This accessible and timely book answers this question by covering topics like the difference between needs and wants, the relationship between needs and poverty, and the role of income transfers, social services and private actors in meeting human needs.’
– Daniel Béland, McGill University, Canada
1 Human needs in welfare states?
2 What are needs?
3 Demographic changes and the impact on demand and need for welfare states
4 Quality, needs and the welfare state
5 Needs and income transfers
6 Welfare services – how to define needs?
7 Who has the responsibility to cover needs?
8 Does legitimacy influence what is understood as needs?
9 Differences across welfare states and welfare regimes
10 Human needs and the welfare state: by way of conclusion
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