© 2018

Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below

Comparing Public Attitudes and Organized Interests in Britain and Germany

  • Bernhard Ebbinghaus
  • Elias Naumann
  • Analyses public opinion in Britain and Germany towards welfare state reform

  • Provides insight into organized interests’ positioning on reform issues

  • Explores welfare state reforms in Britain and Germany to provide a long-term and European perspective

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Organized Interests, Political Actors, and Social Groups

  3. Public Attitudes Towards Reforms

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 289-297

About this book


Studying the political economy of welfare state reform, this edited collection focuses on the role of public opinion and organized interests in respect to policy change. It highlights that welfare states are hard pressed to reform in order to cope with ongoing socio-economic and demographic challenges. While public opinion is commonly seen to oppose welfare cuts and organized interests such as trade unions have tended to defend acquired social rights, this book shows that there have been emergent tendencies in favour of reform.

Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below
analyses a wide range of social policies affecting healthcare, pensions and the labour market to demonstrate how social groups and interest organizations differ and interact in their approaches to reform. Comparing Britain and Germany, with its two very different welfare states, it provides a European perspective on the changing approaches to welfare.

This book will be of interest to those wanting to learn more about the politics of the welfare state and of relevance to students and academics in the fields of political economy and comparative social policy.


Reform Welfare cuts Britain and Germany Trade unions Pensions Public Opinion Towards Welfare Reforms Retirement Age Reforms Labour Market Reforms in Germany Ageing Societies Welfare State Reforms in Europe

Editors and affiliations

  • Bernhard Ebbinghaus
    • 1
  • Elias Naumann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social Policy and InterventionUniversity of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.SFB 884 “Political Economy of Reforms”University of MannheimMannheimGermany

About the editors

Bernhard Ebbinghaus is Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and Senior Fellow at the Green Templeton College at University of Oxford, UK. Previously, he was Professor of Sociology at the University of Mannheim. His research focuses on welfare reform processes, particularly in the areas of pension and labour market policies.

Elias Naumann is Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Collaborative Research Center SFB 884 “Political Economy of Reforms” at the University of Mannheim, Germany. His research interests include comparative welfare state research, public opinion and experimental methods in the social sciences.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below
  • Book Subtitle Comparing Public Attitudes and Organized Interests in Britain and Germany
  • Editors Bernhard Ebbinghaus
    Elias Naumann
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-63651-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-87605-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-63652-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 297
  • Number of Illustrations 18 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Politics of the Welfare State
    Comparative Social Policy
    International Political Economy