Comparative Social Policy provides students with an introduction to cross-national social policy research, conveying the fascinating and challenging issues involved in conducting research of this kind. The book examines the theoretical, conceptual and methodological approaches, discusses prevailing concepts and reflects on methodological difficulties. The authors use examples from a wide range of social policy analysis to illustrate what can be gained by conducting comparative social policy research.The first part of the book provides a broad overview of the growing interest in comparative welfare state research and a discussion of major theoretical and methodological aspects relevant to comparative social research in general. Part II provides readers with an understanding of previous work in the subject, major approaches, important concepts and theories as well as methodological difficulties within comparative research in particular policy fields (health, housing, family policy, social care, social security, labour market policy).The final section addresses particular themes and issues across these fields and highlights the essential components of comparative social policy research, particularly the need to explore these issues carefully to gain awareness of subtle cross-national differences and thus avoid misleading results.
The book includes differing country samples and sizes and takes examples from Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region. All the chapters reflect on relevant conceptual and methodological approaches, each is written for the student reader and concludes with a guide to further reading.
List of Tables.
List of Contributors.
1. Introduction: Jochen Clasen (University of Stirling).
Part I: Welfare States and Comparative Social Policy: .
2. Trends and Developments in Welfare States: Catherine Jones Finer (University of Birmingham).
3. Theories and Methods in Comparative Social Policy: Deborah Mabbett (University of Brunel) and Helen Bolderson (University of Brunel).
Part II: Comparative Analyses in Selected Policy Fields: .
4. Comparative Housing Policy: John Doling (University of Birmingham).
5. Institutions, States and Cultures: Health Policy and Politics in Europe: Richard Freeman (University of Edinburgh).
6. Comparing Family Policies in Europe: Linda Hantrais.
7. Full Circle: a Second Coming for Social Assistance?: John Ditch (University of York).
8. Comparative Approaches to Long-term Care for Adults: Susan Tester (University of Stirling).
9. Unemployment Compensation and Other Labour-Market Policies: Jochen Clasen (University of Stirling).
Part III: Themes and Topics in Comparative Social Policy: .
10. The 'Problem' of Lone Motherhood in Comparative Perspective: Jane Lewis (University of Nottingham).
11. Inside Out: Migrants' Disentitlement to Social Security Benefits in the EU: Simon Roberts (University of Brunel) and Helen Bolderson (University of Brunel).
12. Accumulated Disadvantage? Welfare State Provision and the Incomes of Older Women and Men in Britain, France and Germany: Katherine Rake (London School of Economics).