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The Welfare State and Life Transitions
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The Welfare State and Life Transitions

A European Perspective

9781847207807 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Dominique Anxo, Linnaeus University, Sweden, Gerhard Bosch, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany and Jill Rubery, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK
Publication Date: 2010 ISBN: 978 1 84720 780 7 Extent: 328 pp
This timely book reveals that new life courses are found to require more, and not less welfare support, but only Sweden has developed an active life course approach and only three more could be considered supportive, in at least some life stages. For the remainder, policies were at best limited or, in Italy’s case, passive. The contributors reveal that the neglect of changing needs is leading to greater reliance on the family and the labour market, just as these support structures are becoming more unpredictable and more unequal. They argue that alongside these new class inequalities, new forms of inter-generational inequality are also emerging, particularly in pension provision.

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Critical Acclaim
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The Welfare State and Life Transitions uses the lens of key life stages to highlight changes in these transitions and in available resources for citizen support within nine European welfare states.

This timely book reveals that new life courses are found to require more, and not less welfare support, but only Sweden has developed an active life course approach and only three more could be considered supportive, in at least some life stages. For the remainder, policies were at best limited or, in Italy’s case, passive. The contributors reveal that the neglect of changing needs is leading to greater reliance on the family and the labour market, just as these support structures are becoming more unpredictable and more unequal. They argue that alongside these new class inequalities, new forms of inter-generational inequality are also emerging, particularly in pension provision.

This topical book will strongly appeal to academics and students interested in social policy, gender equality policy, pensions, industrial relations, labour economics, political science, and comparative welfare systems.
Critical Acclaim
‘This book offers, in an extremely clear and easily read manner, knowledge about the state of welfare in large parts of Europe; how systems have been developed and shaped in the various countries to provide support in different life phases. The book is well suited for social science students in general, and for students of social work, sociology and economics in particular.’
– Ann-Charlotte Ståhlberg, Journal of Social Policy

‘The Welfare State and Life Transitions is a major contribution towards a new generation of research on welfare regimes. It reveals the complex and dynamic character of welfare systems and their varying implications for different social groups. Drawing together evidence from nine countries with contrasting welfare systems, it underlines the need for fine grained analysis of the impact of social policies at successive life course transitions for a rigorous evaluation of the quality of welfare protection. As well as providing a rich source of information about the nature and effects of the welfare regimes examined, it will help to set the research agenda of the future.’
– Duncan Gallie, Nuffield College, Oxford and Foreign Secretary (and ex-officio Vice-President) British Academy, UK

‘The Welfare State and Life Transitions presents a novel assessment of social policy in European countries. This collection of nine country studies neatly melds two distinct lines of social scientific inquiry: comparative welfare state scholarship and life-course research. Focusing on the interplay between structural and individual factors, this volume demonstrates that welfare states are not homogeneous entities; instead, they provide packages of policies that support some life transitions more than others.’
– Janet C. Gornick, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, US

‘By focusing on passages from education to employment, between family formation and work, during work careers and from employment to retirement, the book succeeds in highlighting to what extent the various welfare state regimes manage to compensate social inequalities between and within cohorts. The editors do an admirable job of synthesizing the country reports by showing that linking the analysis of welfare regimes and life course patterns enriches our understanding of the shaping of female and male biographies in modern societies.’
– Walter R. Heinz, University of Bremen, Germany
Contributors
Contributors: D. Anxo, G. Bosch, C. Erhel, A. Jansen, B. Kapitány, M. Karamessini, L. Lima, I. Mairhuber, F. Miguélez, L. Neumann, C. Nicole-Drancourt, A. Recio, J. Rubery, A. Simonazzi, Z. Spéder, P. Villa
Contents
Contents:

1. Shaping the Life Course: A European Perspective
Dominique Anxo, Gerhard Bosch and Jill Rubery

2. The UK Welfare State: More than Residual but Still Insufficient
Jill Rubery

3. Towards an Active and Integrated Life Course Policy: The Swedish Experience
Dominique Anxo

4. From the Breadwinner Model to ‘Bricolage’: Germany in Search of a New Life Course Model
Gerhard Bosch and Andreas Jansen

5. Transitions in Female and Male Life Course: Changes and Continuities in Austria
Ingrid Mairhuber

6. Life Course Transitions in Hungary Before and After the Societal Transformation
Zsolt Spéder, Balázs Kapitány and László Neumann

7. From Selective Exclusion Towards Activation: A Life Course Perspective on the French Social Model
Christine Erhel, Léa Lima and Chantal Nicole-Drancourt

8. ‘La Grande Illusion’: How Italy’s ‘American Dream’ Turned Sour
Annamaria Simonazzi and Paola Villa

9. Life Stage Transitions and the Still-Critical Role of the Family in Greece
Maria Karamessini

10. The Uncertain Path from the Mediterranean Welfare Model in Spain
Fausto Miguélez and Albert Recio

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