The Origins of Active Social Policy: Labour Market and Childcare Policies in a Comparative Perspective

ISBN : 9780199669769

Giuliano Bonoli
240 ページ
162 x 241 mm

Since the mid-1990s European welfare states have undergone a major transformation. Relative to the post-war years, today they put less emphasis on income protection and more on the promotion of labour market participation. This book investigates this transformation by focusing on two fields of social policy: active labour market policy and childcare. Throughout Europe, governments have invested massively in these two areas. The result, a more active welfare state, seems a rather solid achievement, likely to survive the turbulent post-crisis years. Why? Case studies of policy trajectories in seven European countries and advanced statistical analysis of spending figures suggest that the shift towards an active social policy is only in part a response to a changed economic environment. Political competition, and particularly the extent to which active social policy can be used for credit claiming purposes, help us understand the peculiar cross-national pattern of social policy reorientation. This book, by trying to understand the shift towards an active welfare state, provides also an update of political science theories of social policy making.


List of Figures
List of Tables
1. Introduction
2. Defining active social policy
3. Mapping variation in active social policies
4. Explaining the emergence of active social policy
5. Active labour market policies in a comparative perspective
6. Childcare policy in a comparative perspective
7. Quantitative evidence: the determinants of public spending on active labour market policy and childcare
8. The origins of active social policy


Giuliano Bonoli previously worked at the Universities of Fribourg and Bern in Switzerland, and at the University of Bath in Britain. He received his PhD at the University of Kent at Canterbury for a study on pension reform in Europe. He has been involved in several national and international research projects on various aspects of social policy. His work has focused on pension reform, labour market and family policies, with particular attention paid to the politics of welfare state transformation. He has published some forty articles and chapters in edited books, as well as a few books. He is Professor of Social Policy at the Swiss Graduate School for Public Administration (IDHEAP) at the University of Lausanne.