Social Democratic reforms of the welfare state: Germany and the UK compared

Martin Seeleib-Kaiser

in Modernising the welfare state

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9781847420404
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302834 | DOI:
Social Democratic reforms of the welfare state: Germany and the UK compared

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Social Democrats regained power in the UK and Germany in the late 1990s, after long periods spent in opposition. This chapter takes stock of welfare state reforms in both countries and aims to answer whether, and how far, 10 years of Social Democratic governments have left their modern imprints on the institutional set-up of the welfare state, based on Hall's categorisations of change. It briefly sketches out the socioeconomic conditions and institutional design of the two welfare states in the late 1990s, which will serve as a reference point for further analysis. The chapter then elaborates in greater detail on the main elements of the common modernisation themes, before addressing the various reforms in the domains of (un)employment, pensions, and family policies. It concludes by assessing these reforms in the light of the research question.

Keywords: welfare reforms; modernisation; unemployment; pensions; family policies; Social Democratic governments

Chapter.  7234 words.  Illustrated.

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