Chapter

Towards a Steady-state Welfare State?

Francis G. Castles

in The Future of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270170
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601514 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199270171.003.0008
Towards a Steady-state Welfare State?

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Seeks to draw the main implications of the previous analysis. It argues that, in recent decades, rather than being under immediate threat, the welfare state in most Western nations has been approaching steady state, with expenditure levels that are unlikely to change radically in coming years. In aggregate terms, the biggest remaining divide is between high spending social security and state services of the states of Continental Western Europe and the poverty-alleviation states of the English-speaking world. The book concludes by arguing that, despite convergence at the aggregate expenditure level, different families of nations have distinctively different welfare state priorities and different problems.

Keywords: convergence; crisis threats; expenditure trends; social expenditure; steady-state welfare; welfare state challenges; welfare state futures; welfare state problems; within-system convergence

Chapter.  6870 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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