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Towards Sustainable Welfare States in Europe

Social Policy and Climate Change

9781839104626 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Mi Ah Schoyen, Bjørn Hvinden, Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), Oslo Metropolitan University and Merethe Dotterud Leiren, CICERO – Center for International Climate Research, Norway
Publication Date: September 2022 ISBN: 978 1 83910 462 6 Extent: c 304 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. It is free to read, download and share on Elgaronline.com.

This seminal book addresses the critical and urgent question of ‘what makes welfare states sustainable?’ in the era of climate change. Expert authors challenge traditional perspectives on questions of sustainability which have focused on population ageing, global economic turbulence and on containing current and future public social spending.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
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This seminal book addresses the critical and urgent question of ‘what makes welfare states sustainable?’ in the era of climate change. Expert authors challenge traditional perspectives on questions of sustainability which have focused on population ageing, global economic turbulence and on containing current and future public social spending.

The chapters present new empirical evidence in the form of in-depth comparative country studies from across Europe, offering an insight into how political actors, social partners and civil society organisations in countries associated with different welfare models address questions of sustainability and the extent to which they balance social, ecological and economic considerations. The editors conclude by mapping out ways in which welfare states can address these increasingly urgent and complex issues and facilitate an eco-social transition towards true sustainability.

This book will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students of comparative social policy, environmental politics and policy and climate change. Highlighting the political and structural challenges European societies face in the transition to low carbon economies, this book will also be beneficial for policymakers and practitioners in these areas.
Critical Acclaim
‘When people talk about “social welfare” they are usually referring to public subsidies that are meant to reduce poverty and inequality in society. When people talk about “sustainability” they are usually talking about ecological programs that are meant to address issues like climate change and environmental degradation. Towards Sustainable Welfare States in Europe brings these two very basic issues together in a unique and remarkable way. This important book convincingly argues that environmental sustainability and social justice are intimately intertwined and if we are to have a sustainable future, these complex issues need to be addressed simultaneously. It also shows how different European states have attempted to address the inherent tensions found at the junctures between these fundamental issues.’
– Sven H. Steinmo, University of Colorado, US

‘Climate change poses complex policy dilemmas for mature welfare states. This book provides a lucid discussion of the issues at stake and an insightful analysis of how they are being tackled by four European countries and the EU. A must read for understanding the multidimensional nature of what has become the greatest challenge for our future well-being and the planet's survival.’
– Maurizio Ferrera, University of Milan, Italy

‘This edited book should be applauded for insisting that environmental issues are racing up the agenda and must gain pride of place in future thinking. In particular, global heating and the climate crisis pose an existential threat to contemporary economic, social and political systems – including welfare states in the global North. It is remarkable that this book is one of very few within the field of social policy to recognise this fact.’
– From the Foreword by Ian Gough
Contributors
Contributors include: Judith Derndorfer, Kristian Heggebø, Roman Hoffmann, Bjørn Hvinden, Matteo Jessoula, Max Koch, Merethe Dotterud Leiren, Matteo Mandelli, Marcello Natili, Angelica Puricelli, Sebastiano Sabato, Mi Ah Schoyen, Marianne Takle, Hendrik Theine
Contents
Contents:

Foreword xiv
Ian Gough

PART I RETHINKING WELFARE STATE SUSTAINABILITY
1 Welfare state sustainability in the 21st century 2
Mi Ah Schoyen, Bjørn Hvinden and Merethe Dotterud Leiren
2 Sustainable development and sustainable welfare:
a changing international agenda 28
Bjørn Hvinden, Mi Ah Schoyen and Merethe Dotterud Leiren

PART II QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENTS OF THE
POTENTIAL FOR AN ECO-SOCIAL TRANSITION
3 Attitudes towards climate change and economic inequality:
a cross-national comparative study 53
Kristian Heggebø and Bjørn Hvinden
4 Integrating environmental issues within party manifestos:
exploring trends across European welfare states 80
Judith Derndorfer, Roman Hoffmann and Hendrik Theine

PART III ECO-SOCIAL POLICYMAKING (POLITICS
AND POLICY) AT NATIONAL LEVEL
5 Partially institutionalized eco-social policymaking in Germany 109
Mi Ah Schoyen, Max Koch and Marianne Takle
6 Bottom-up pressures, institutional hurdles and political
concerns: the long path towards an ‘eco-welfare state’ in Italy 131
Marcello Natili, Angelica Puricelli and Matteo Jessoula
7 The Norwegian sustainability paradox: leader abroad,
laggard at home 153
Mi Ah Schoyen and Marianne Takle
8 The United Kingdom: a merging climate and sustainability
agenda 175
Merethe Dotterud Leiren and Marianne Takle

PART IV EUROPE AS A DRIVER FOR THE
ECO-SOCIAL AGENDA?
9 Towards an EU eco-social agenda? From Europe 2020 to
the European Green Deal 199
Sebastiano Sabato, Matteo Mandelli and Matteo Jessoula
10 Eco-social mobilization at the supranational level? The
case of ‘The Right to Energy for All Europeans’ coalition 220
Matteo Jessoula and Matteo Mandelli

PART V CONCLUSIONS
11 Sustainable European welfare states: the way forward 241
Bjørn Hvinden, Merethe Dotterud Leiren and Mi Ah
Schoyen

Index
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