By illustrating the similarities and differences within and across countries, this book reflects on the current role of social insurance, recent policy changes and pressures for reform in 10 European countries: UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Sweden and Denmark.
The book summaries the main arguments and highlights the lessons to be learnt, reflecting on European experiences regarding social insurance and social security as a whole.
Central questions addressed in the book are:
What are the institutional and political forces which have shaped national systems?
Are national governments diminishing the role of social insurance?
Does social insurance have a future or is it an outdated welfare arrangement?
Can the UK learn from experiences elsewhere?
Social insurance in Europe provides a valuable contribution to the current debate about the future of the welfare state. It is essential reading for students and academics in the fields of social policy, European studies, sociology and political science and for all those concerned about the future of social security protection in modern society.
Jochen Clasen, Centre for Comparative Research in Social Welfare, Department of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling
Contents: Social insurance - an outmoded concept of social protection? ~ Jochen Clasen; Retrenchment or restructuring? The emergence of a multitiered welfare state in Denmark ~ Jon Kvist; Sweden: on the way from standard to basic security? ~ Ann-Charlotte Stahlberg; Social insurance in Germany - dismantling or reconstruction? ~ Jochen Clasen; A 'liberal' dynamic in the transformation of the French social welfare system ~ Bruno Palier; Switzerland: institutions, reforms and the politics of consensual retrenchment ~ Giuliano Bonoli; The withering of social insurance in Britain ~ Angus Erskine; Social protection and social insurance in Portugal ~ Jack Hampson; Social insurance and the crisis of statism in Greece ~ Theodoros N. Papadopoulos; Social insurance in Hungary: the individualisation of the social? ~ Tony Maltby; Social security and social insurance in the Czech Republic ~ Mita Castle-Kanerova; Social insurance in Europe - adapting to change? ~ Angus Erskine and Jochen Clasen.