EU social policy and national welfare state reform

Authored by: Caroline de la Porte

Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138631649
eBook ISBN: 9781315207049
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter analyses the modes of governance through which the EU influences social policies of member states. I argue that, because the EU influences public policy, welfare state scholars should consider EU-level policy and governance in their analyses. The EU’s welfare states – although institutionalised in diverse configurations (Korpi and Palme, 1998; Esping-Andersen, 1990) – provide protection to their citizens against social contingencies, such as ageing, illness and unemployment. In the shift to dual-earner societies welfare reforms have dealt with challenges, such as balancing work and family life (Esping-Andersen et al., 2002; Taylor-Gooby, 2004).

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