The Welfare State in Flux

Individual responsibility and changing accountability relations in social services 1

Authored by: Piret Tõnurist , Wouter De Tavernier

The Routledge Handbook to Accountability and Welfare State Reforms in Europe

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472470591
eBook ISBN: 9781315612713
Adobe ISBN: 9781317044208


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Increasingly new, experimental and collaborative forms of governance are called for to solve complex social problems (Hartley et al.2013). They illustrate a transition in service principles from universalism to particularism visible in the emergence of personalized and targeted services (Lember et al. 2015). In the prior 40–50 years, the welfare state has operated with a certain logic of universality – a concept that can be interpreted in many ways (Goul Andersen 2012) – making services available to the entire population or a large part thereof. Recently, however, there has been a shift away from rights to conditional support (for example, Dwyer 2004), facilitated by the diffusion of information and communication technology (ICT).

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