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French Welfare State Reform

French Welfare State Reform

Idealism versus Swedish, New Zealand and Dutch Pragmatism

By James Angresano

Through a historical and comparative analysis of French, Swedish, New Zealand and Dutch case studies, ‘French Welfare State Reform’ explores the political and economic sustainability of the of the welfare state.

PDF, Pages

ISBN:9780857289339

January 2011

£20.00, $32.00

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

Over the past two decades, many welfare states have experienced a combination of low economic growth and rising unemployment, concurrent with increasing pension and health care obligations, which has exacerbated government budget deficits. Some analysts forecast that for a number of welfare states these problems will worsen in the future. Their fiscal problems, in particular, present welfare state policy makers with the dilemma of attempting to fund redistribution schemes consistent with the ideal of a secure egalitarian society while at the same time remaining competitive in a ‘new economy’ that places a premium on competition, innovation, and flexible labour and product markets.

Thus, an important issue has emerged: what types of reforms are required to enable welfare states to preserve sustainability? For the purpose of this study, a sustainable welfare state is one that can remain the guarantor against social risks and adverse economic trends for all segments of their respective societies and satisfy sound fiscal criteria (such as the Maastricht requirement for all members of the EMU that their fiscal budget deficit does not exceed 3% of the GDP), without imposing considerable financial burdens on future generations.

Reviews

'Deeply rooted in a sound political economy analysis, this book is a must both for those who are still faithful to some sort of welfare state and for pro-market hardliners.' —Wladimir Andreff, Professor at the University of Paris, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne (CNRS), Vice-President of the French Economic Association

Author Information

James Angresano is Professor of Political Economy at Albertson College, Idaho.

Series

Anthem European Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Preface: Whose Welfare?; 1. The Contemporary Welfare State: The Issue of Sustainability; 2. The Case of Sweden: From Deep Recession to Favourable Economic Performance; 3. The Case of New Zealand: Liberalizing the Welfare State, with Mixed Results; 4. The Case of the Netherlands: Gradual Reform with Social Cohesion Maintained; 5. The Case of France: Il y a une Éxception Française?; 6. Summary and Conclusions; References; Glossary; Index

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