New Social Risks in Old Welfare States

Gøsta Esping‐Andersen

in Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies

Published in print February 1999 | ISBN: 9780198742005
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599163 | DOI:
 New Social Risks in Old Welfare States

Show Summary Details


The introduction discusses the idea of a mature welfare state, and shows that the welfare state of the 1970s can be regarded as mature basically because few, if any, major changes have occurred since then. Not only did the welfare state stabilize but so also did the embracing welfare regime. Looks at the welfare state crisis and the paradoxes within this, noting (as at the beginning of the book) that the shocks come principally from the labour market and declining family stability, thus bringing growing pressures on the welfare state itself, and implying that it needs to be examined. Suggests that it would be much more fruitful to analyse the crisis as pertaining to welfare regimes. Argues that the essence of the problem lies in the growing disjuncture between existing institutional arrangements and emerging risk profiles: the bottom‐line analytical question is how and under what conditions welfare regimes are being recast to respond to the new—post‐industrial—economic realities. The first two sections look at the public attitudes to the welfare state, and the welfare state as a Trojan horse. The following sections discuss new risks and new equalities of welfare regimes—how they deal with the Trojan horse—under the following headings: Managing the Labour Market; Labour Market Risks and Welfare Regimes; Family Risks and Welfare Regimes; and Welfare State Adaptation to Exogenous Shocks and New Risks.

Keywords: equality; exogenous shocks; family risks; family stability; institutional arrangements; labour market risks; labour markets; old welfare states; post‐industrial economics; public attitudes; risk profiles; risks; social risks; welfare regimes; welfare state; welfare state adaptation; welfare state crisis

Chapter.  10787 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.