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The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism

The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism

Gosta Esping-Andersen

ISBN: 978-0-745-66675-4

May 2013, Polity

260 pages

Select type: E-Book



Few discussions in modern social science have occupied as much attention as the changing nature of welfare states in western societies. Gosta Esping-Andersen, one of the most distinguished contributors to current debates on this issue, here provides a new analysis of the character and role of welfare states in the functioning of contemporary advanced western societies.

Esping-Andersen distinguishes several major types of welfare state, connecting these with variations in the historical development of different western countries. Current economic processes, the author argues, such as those moving towards a post-industrial order, are not shaped by autonomous market forces but by the nature of states and state differences.

Fully informed by comparative materials, this book will have great appeal to everyone working on issues of economic development and post-industrialism. Its audience will include students and academics in sociology, economics and politics.



Part 1: The Three Welfare State Regimes.

1. The Three Political Economies of the Welfare State.

2. De-Commodification in Social Policy.

3. The Welfare State as a System of Stratification.

4. State and Market in the Formation of Pension Regimes.

5. Distribution Regimes in the Power Structure.

Part 2: The Three Employment Structures.

6. Welfare State and Labor Market Regimes.

7. Institutional Accommodation to Full Employment.

8. Three Post-Industrial Employment Trajectories.




'This is a pathbreaking book. The author has mastered an extremely wide range of historical and statistical data on modern welfare states and integrated the results of his studies into an original and imaginativee analysis of the dynamics of the three types of welfare state regimes.' Lee Rainwater

'A milestone in the comparative analysis of welfare policies.' Work, Organizations, and Markets

1. Esping-Andersen is a leading authority on the welfare state. 2. Offers a completely new theoretical framework for understanding the contemporary welfare state and employment structures. 3. Offers a new methodology for the comparative analysis of state and social stratification. 4. Uses very large data base (from 18 countries) gathered over 8 years, making the volume very comparative. 5. Aims to reintegrate debates about the welfare state into mainstream political economy.