Available in paperback for the first time, Welfare Policy from Below is the most comprehensive study available of social exclusion in contemporary Europe. Invigorating and informative, the book puts forward a new form of 'social exclusion knowledge', based on an innovative conceptual and theoretical framework and a comparative empirical study of eight European cities. The case studies - encompassing research in Germany, Austria, the UK, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain - focus on a range of problems associated with exclusion. Issues such as poverty, housing, work, migration, gender equality and the family are considered in the context of different European welfare regimes, providing insights into the experiences of ordinary people facing exclusionary challenges. The distinguished contributors argue that social security and welfare must provide the infrastructure for the coping strategies of those at risk of exclusion. Featuring a substantive new preface which includes contemporary discussions in European welfare policy, Welfare Policy from Below will be invaluable to policy-makers as well as academic researchers.