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The Politics of Social Policy in Europe

The Politics of Social Policy in Europe

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The Politics of Social Policy in Europe analyses and critically assesses tensions and uncertainties which are haunting social policy provision throughout Europe in the 1990s. The expansion in social expenditures associated with the 1950s and 1970s has been replaced by retrenchment and pessimism in the 1990s. Disillusion prevails throughout the community due to growing disparity between the objectives of policy statements and the real life experience of EU citizens.

This important book explores the relationships between political choices and constraints, and how governments in different countries are interpreting the challenges to the welfare state. Additionally it critically assesses their policy options in the 1990s and beyond. Special attention is paid to the relationship between social policy and the wider arguments of public finance, employment, citizenship, competitiveness and the economy. Complementing this discussion are country case studies to show how Germany, Sweden, Britain, Denmark, France and Ireland are planning to deal with these problems.

This definitive guide will prove to be an invaluable resource to academics and especially policymakers involved in decision making on social welfare throughout Europe.

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