Family policy: charting new waters

Jochen Clasen

in Reforming European Welfare States

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780199270712
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603266 | DOI:
 Family policy: charting new waters

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The chapter discusses three periods of policy change in the field of family policy. Concentrating on basic aspects of family support, such benefits and tax allowances for families, as well as pension credits and parental leave programmes, the chapter contrasts current policy provision with the one which existed in the late 1970s. Using a number of indicators, it assess the scale and profile of change in each country. The chapter argues that both countries have traditionally favoured the male breadwinner families and been rather modest in the support for families per se, albeit for different reasons. However, family support has expanded in both countries, particularly since the 1990s, for several reasons. The ‘paid work’ oriented rationale for policy expansion has become a major driving force in the UK and, more recently, in Germany. Institutionally less embedded than the other two policy areas, national family policy profiles have evolved more dynamically.

Keywords: family policy; policy expansion; child benefit; child tax allowances; parental benefit; parental leave; male breadwinner family; childcare policy; German constitutional court

Chapter.  20922 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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