Political actors and the modernisation of care policies in Britain and Germany

Traute Meyer

in Care and social integration in European societies

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346049
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301592 | DOI:
Political actors and the modernisation of care policies in Britain and Germany

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This chapter investigates the role of political actors in relation to care policy change, and the relationship between cultural change and policy change. It is shown that the extension of social rights for carers is no inevitable outcome of socio-demographic and regime constraints. The introduction of a right to childcare for children above the age of three and the improved recognition of carers' rights in the pensions system is presented. The extension of parental rights despite tight budgets was accompanied by a changing dominant political ideology that displays insight into the need to modernise the breadwinner model and to create a family-friendly environment. The extension of social rights for carers in Britain until the early years of the millennium was motivated foremost by governments' intention to decrease benefit dependency of carers. The case studies presented here show that there is evidence for a change in family ideology in Britain and Germany.

Keywords: care policy; Britain; Germany; political actors; social rights; childcare; modernisation; family ideology

Chapter.  9601 words. 

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