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The Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

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  • Uses a multilevel structure to combine insights on family outcomes

  • Examines supra-national organisations such as the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank (WB), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations (UN)

  • Brings together representatives from various academic communities to form a coherent, interdisciplinary, cutting-edge collection

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Table of contents (27 chapters)

  1. The Next Decade of Research


About this book

This open access handbook provides a multilevel view on family policies, combining insights on family policy outcomes at different levels of policymaking: supra-national organizations, national states, sub-national or regional levels, and finally smaller organizations and employers. At each of these levels, a multidisciplinary group of expert scholars assess policies and their implementation, such as child income support, childcare services, parental leave, and leave to provide care to frail and elderly family members. The chapters evaluate their impact in improving children’s development and equal opportunities, promoting gender equality, regulating fertility, productivity and economic inequality, and take an intersectional perspective related to gender, class, and family diversity. The editors conclude by presenting a new research agenda based on five major challenges pertaining to the levels of policy implementation (in particular globalization and decentralization), austerity and marketization, inequality, changing family relations, and welfare states adapting to women’s empowered roles.


“This multilevel and cross-nationally comparative perspective puts family policy at the organizational, community, national, and supranational levels into provocative context. With contributions from leading lights such as Mary Daly, Pearl Dykstra, Jennifer Hook, and Jane Jenson, this collection provides a landmark for the future of the field.” (Jason Beckfield, Harvard University, USA)

“This engaging collection gathers theoretical and empirical insights from leading family policy experts. The authors – representing diverse countries, disciplines, and methods – bring to life the volume’s innovative conceptual framework, which is organized around policy institutions, both public and private.  The volume closes with a call for new lines of research that should inform family policy scholars for years to come.” (Janet Gornick, Professor of Political Science and Sociology, and Director of the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA)

“Featuring exciting contributors from a range of often-siloed scholarly disciplines, countries and cultures, this Handbook offers nuanced insights into how interacting societal inequality factors influence family policy enactment to reinforce or improve inequality outcomes across gender, class, and nations. It is ambitious, broad-reaching, and succeeds in providing a strategic view within and across nations to inspire thoughtful evidence-based policy implications to improve societies in the future.” (Ellen Ernst Kossek, Basil S. Turner Professor of Management, Purdue University, USA)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

    Rense Nieuwenhuis

  • Centre for Sociological Research, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

    Wim Van Lancker

About the editors

Rense Nieuwenhuis is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) at Stockholm University, Sweden.
Wim Van Lancker is Assistant Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at the Centre for Sociological Research (CESO) at KU Leuven, Belgium.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy

  • Editors: Rense Nieuwenhuis, Wim Van Lancker

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-54617-5Published: 15 December 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-54620-5Published: 03 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-54618-2Published: 14 December 2020

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: DCCXXI, 20

  • Number of Illustrations: 25 b/w illustrations, 34 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Children, Youth and Family Policy, Sociology of Family, Youth and Aging, Sociology of Work

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