The Politics of Old and New Social Policies

Silja Häusermann

in The Politics of the New Welfare State

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645244
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745119 | DOI:
The Politics of Old and New Social Policies

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This chapter develops three arguments. First, in line with much of the recent literature, that policy reforms of the ‘new welfare state’ in Europe imply several dimensions of new and old social policy instruments. Second, that the conflict lines which divide supporters and opponents of these ‘old’ and ‘new’ reforms are cross-cutting, because ‘old’ and ‘new’ policies affect different social groups in different ways. And third, that the ensuing complexity and multidimensionality of reform politics in Europe make the ‘politics of the new welfare state’ contingent, variable and difficult to predict. Empirically, the chapter substantiates these three arguments with examples of continental family policy reforms.

Keywords: welfare reform; new social policies; multidimensional reform; coalitions

Chapter.  8693 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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