Modern welfare states are confronted with a wide variety of social and economic developments, including individualization, secularization, globalization and changing preferences and ideologies of citizens. Using in-depth analysis gathered over 15 years, this book closely analyzes the consequences of these significant changes for social policies, offering theoretical and practical insights about their responsiveness.
It includes a comparative analysis of recent developments in social assistance, sheltered work and labour market policies in the Netherlands, showing how policy makers are continually trying to incorporate societal transformations into social policies while being obstructed by the path-dependent development of welfare state institutions. The insights from the case studies are related to developments in other European countries in the areas of social assistance, sheltered work and labour market policies, and show how policy makers and politicians deal with multiple challenges, interests and perspectives on social policies. This book is essential reading for academics and students interested in the institutional development of social policies.