The Changing European State

Wolfgang C. Müller

in Governing Europe

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250158
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599439 | DOI:
 The Changing European State

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The modern state is a historic phenomenon that has been under constant transformation since its birth in the period of absolutism. In this chapter, a framework is presented for analysing changes of the state and changes are mapped out that have occurred in Western Europe since the 1980s. Since the completion of the state’s democratization, the most interesting question has traditionally been what it is doing. Answers to this question have led to a number of labels such as ‘welfare state’ or ‘night–watchman state’ (i.e. the liberal non–interventionist state). The chapter first suggests six dimensions (levels of state activities; state responsibilities; production modes; resources employed (laws, personnel, money); finance (generation of resources); steering of state activities) that together capture the essence of the state, and then provides an overview of changes in Western Europe since the 1980s along these six dimensions.

Keywords: change in the European state; democratization; Europe; finance; liberal non—interventionist state; night—watchman state; production modes; resources; state activities; state responsibilities; welfare state; Western Europe

Chapter.  5572 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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