Post‐War Welfare State Development

Frank Nullmeier and Franz‐Xaver Kaufmann

in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579396
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Post‐War Welfare State Development

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Politics
  • European Union
  • Comparative Politics


Show Summary Details


This article examines the validity of the dominant approaches to periodization in several respects and shows their shortcomings. It then offers a systematic discussion of measurement concepts used in comparative welfare state research and explores how the use of periodization criteria gleaned from this literature has influenced the understanding of welfare state development since 1945. Six different types of periodization, each based on a specific set of criteria, may be distinguished: the macro level of context factors; social expenditure trends; the internal structure of social programmes; the distribution of welfare production between state, market, family, and civil society, and governance types of social policy; the outcome of social policy interventions; and the public legitimation of social policy and the welfare state. The global financial crisis of 2008/9 might have a huge impact on welfare state development and may yet usher in a new period. Based on a theoretical approach that highlights economic context factors, this expectation seems particularly plausible, given that the crisis represents no less than the most severe recession of the post-war era.

Keywords: welfare state development; post-war era; periodization; global financial crisis; context factors; social expenditure; social programmes; public legitimation; social policy

Article.  9708 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; European Union ; 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.