Welfare states vary across nations and change over time. And the balance between markets and government; free enterprise and social protection is perennially in question. But all developed societies have welfare states of one kind or another - they are a fundamental dimension of modern government. And even after decades of free-market criticism and reform, their core institutions have proven resilient and popular.
This Very Short Introduction describes the modern welfare state, explaining its historical and contemporary significance and arguing that far from being 'a failure' or 'a problem', welfare states are an essential element of contemporary capitalism, and a vital concomitant of democratic government. In this accessible and entertaining account, David Garland cuts through the fog of misunderstandings to explain in clear and simple terms, what welfare states are, how they work, and why they matter.
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`An extremely lucid introduction to the big issues facing welfare states and the big debates about them. ... It provides a more interesting and vigorous introduction to welfare states than the vast majority of existing textbooks.'
Professor Julia Lewis, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 38
'This slender and yet weighty little book has no rival anywhere. It is the authoritative introduction for anyone remotely interested in the welfare state.' - Gosta Esping-Andersen, Professor of Sociology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
'It is amazing how dimensions of historical origins, nation-building, power resources, institutional legacies and varieties of welfare regimes are covered with utmost clarity. I find Garland's short introduction of the welfare state truly unparalleled.'- Prof. dr Anton Hemerijck, Centennial Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science
1: What is the Welfare State?
2: Before the Welfare State
3: Birth of the Welfare State
4: The Welfare State 1.0
7: Neoliberalism and WS 2.0
8: Post-Industrial transitions: toward WS 3.0
9: The indispensable Welfare State