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Choice: Challenges and Perspectives for the European Welfare States

Choice: Challenges and Perspectives for the European Welfare States

Bent Greve (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-32434-1 August 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 152 Pages



This book analyzes the impact of choice on welfare states in Europe and asks whether the shift towards more choice will ultimately benefit the users and providers of the welfare state, and have a positive impact on society as a whole.
  • Explores the recent focus on choice in many welfare states, which has created a more market-orientated approach, changed users to consumers, and increased emphasis on private providers
  • Examines the impact of these recent reforms on equality, not only from an economic perspective, but also in relation to gender, education, age, and access to services
  • Draws on examples from different European countries and sectors of the welfare state, including the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the Czech Republic
  • Informed by theoretical and empirical approaches, and uses a variety of methodologies
Editorial Introduction (Bent Greve, University of Roskilde, Denmark).

1. Can Choice in Welfare States Be Equitable? (Bent Greve, University of Roskilde, Denmark).

2. The Other Le Grand? Evaluating the ‘Other Invisible Hand’in Welfare Services in England (Ian Greener, University of Durham, UK and Martin Powell, University of Birmingham, UK).

3. Exit, Voice and Quality in the English Education Sector (Deborah Wilson, University of Bristol, UK).

4. When ‘Choice’ and ‘Choice’ Are not the Same: Institutional Frameworks of Choice in the German Welfare System (Florian Blank, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany).

5. Choosing Welfare or Losing Social Citizenship? Citizens’ Free Choice in Recent Italian Welfare State Reforms (Paolo R. Graziano, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy).

6. The ‘Consumer Principle’ in the Care of Elderly People: Free Choice and Actual Choice in the German Welfare State (Melanie Eichler, University of Hamburg, Germany and Birgit Pfau-Effinger, University of Hamburg, Germany).

7. A Comparative Discussion of the Gendered Implications of Cash-for-Care Schemes: Markets, Independence and Social Citizenship in Crisis? (Kirstein Rummery, University of Stirling, Scotland).

8. Challenging Solidarity? An Analysis of Exit Options in Social Policies (Menno Fenger, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

9. Freedom of Choice through the Promotion of Gender Equality (Steven Saxonberg, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic).