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Recasting European Welfare States for the 21st Century


  • Ferrera, Maurizio
  • Hemerijck, Anton
  • Rhodes, Martin


This article places European welfare states squarely in today's European integration context and looks optimistically at social policy perspectives ‘top down’ from the European level. It has the needs of European policy makers in mind, and thus their interests in optimal policy mixes, lessons from national experiences and in a new institutional architecture that links EU member states more effectively into All-European corridors of reform efforts. The authors argue that the overriding need in welfare state reform is to identify new value combinations and institutional arrangements in national systems that are both mixed – in terms of solidarity and growth objectives – and virtuous, that is capable of producing advances on all necessary fronts. The authors recapitulate the EU's present social agenda – where the search for ‘new value combinations’ is seen to be most actively undertaken. They take up the nature of the ‘bottom up’ challenges to, and the adjustment problems of, the four different sets of European welfare states at length and also their differing needs for functional, distributive as well as normative re-calibration. They present core components of an optimal adjustment strategy that could reconcile growth with solidarity. Finally, they focus on different instruments that might further substantiate the role the EU could play in preserving and developing the ‘European Social Model’ in different welfare domains.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferrera, Maurizio & Hemerijck, Anton & Rhodes, Martin, 2000. "Recasting European Welfare States for the 21st Century," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 427-446, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:eurrev:v:8:y:2000:i:03:p:427-446_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Miroslav Beblavý, 2011. "Why has the crisis been bad for private pensions, but good for the flat tax? The sustainability of ‘neoliberal’ reforms in the new EU member states," CEPS Papers 6313, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    2. Waltraud Schelkle, 2012. "Collapsing Worlds and Varieties of welfare capitalism: In search of a new political economy of welfare," LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series 54, European Institute, LSE.
    3. Kenneth Nelson, 2008. "Adequacy of Social Minimums: Workfare, Gender, and Poverty Alleviation in Welfare Democracies," LIS Working papers 474, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    4. Marchetti, Sabrina & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Venturini, Alessandra, 2013. "Costs and Benefits of Labour Mobility between the EU and the Eastern Partnership Countries Country Study: Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 7635, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Schelkle, Waltraud, 2012. "Collapsing worlds and varieties of welfare capitalism: in search of a new political economy of welfare," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53194, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Luis Moreno, 2010. "Welfare Mix, CSR and Social Citizenship," Working Papers 1005, Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP), CSIC.

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