This book examines the social bases of the European welfare state, and the interests developed in or against social policy by various classes of society, during the period 1875-1975 in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. By analyzing the competing concerns of different social "actors" that lie behind the evolution of social policy, it explains why some nations had an easy time in developing a generous and solidaristic welfare state while others fought long and entrenched battles. In particular, the book examines the period after the Second World War and looks in detail at the state developed by the bourgeoisie in welfare policies. By casting its net across five nations and a whole century, the book attempts to establish a broad logic of interest behind the welfare state based on a very extensive range of archival material.
' ... a very important book, one that is certain to become a cornerstone in the welfare state literature ... In the introduction, Baldwin claims that 'the search for the social bases of welfare states is far from over'. This book does not put a final end to the search, but it does catapult it to new heights of scholarship.' American Journal of Sociology ' ... a study which manages to be both authoritative and remarkably wide in scope ... a book which gives intellectual pleasure and must be compulsory reading for everyone interested in comparative studies.' Journal of European Social Policy ' ... definitely one of the most invigorating and sharp analyses that has been produced over the last ten years on the theory of the evolution of the modern welfare state.' Journal of Public Policy