The Sustainability of Western Welfare States

Howard Glennerster

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

The Sustainability of Western Welfare States


This article provides a discussion on the sustainability of Western welfare states. The politics of the next few decades may not be as benign. Other priorities may claim public attention and support. When growing longevity was seized upon by those forecasting a decline in welfare states, they completely ignored evidence that private alternatives were equally, if not more, prone to funding difficulties. Some economic fundamentals underpinning the resilience political scientists had noted in welfare spending. A range of fiscal responses taken by governments can be distinguished. The challenges the world will face in the next half century are going to be partly the same but partly very different from the past five decades.

Keywords: Western welfare states; sustainability; politics; public attention; public support; welfare spending

Article.  5810 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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