On the Road to Welfare Markets: Institutional, Organizational, and Cultural Dynamics of a New European Welfare State Settlement


Accounts of the development of welfare states in what is widely referred to as the post-industrial era often place an emphasis on changes in the needs of the citizenry, in the character of social risks, or in the institutional foundations (e.g., the resourcing) of public welfare provision, with all this laying the ground for, or materializing in, ‘new politics’ (see Pierson 2001 or Armingeon & Bonoli 2006). Granted, given a shrinking role of ‘true’ industrial work in advanced Western societies, a marked growth of female employment alongside novel ways of ensuring social reproduction, and, not least, the intensification of information- and science-based economic agency, many typical features of the postwar settlement have disappeared. Yet major classical social divisions persist or even grow; moreover, there is an intriguing resemblance between past patterns of social deprivation and those affecting, inter alia, senior citizens, the working poor, or lone mothers today; and, concerning the political economy of capitalism, different modes of resourcing welfare provision (taxes versus social security contributions) have, after all, exhibited a limited impact on how welfare regimes evolve. Hence the scope of the aforementioned changes appears at times overstated in the analysis of what actually happens to Western welfare states (on this, see Bode 2008a). By the same token, looking at developments in the post-industrial era, much less attention has been awarded to the far-reaching transformation of the institutional, organizational, and cultural infrastructure social welfare provision is based on, including the material consequences of this transformation.


Welfare State Nonprofit Sector Welfare Recipient Direct Payment Welfare Provision 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for social policy and the organisation of social services, Department of Social WorkUniversity of KasselKasselGermany

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