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Why We Need a New Welfare State$
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Gøsta Esping-Andersen

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256433

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199256438.001.0001

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A Child‐Centred Social Investment Strategy

A Child‐Centred Social Investment Strategy

(p.26) 2 A Child‐Centred Social Investment Strategy
Why We Need a New Welfare State

Gøsta Esping‐Andersen

Oxford University Press

The introduction to this chapter considers the paradox that now that European society is ageing, it is becoming quite urgent that more is invested in the welfare of children, in contrast to the situation in the post‐war decades, when Europe was youthful and welfare policies came to focus on the elderly. An examination is then made of how welfare risks concentrate across households, focusing both on families with children generally, and on high‐risk lone parent and work‐poor households in particular. Next, the impact of family welfare on citizens’ life chances, particularly during early childhood, is addressed. Women's paid employment emerges as a key ingredient in any strategy to combat poverty in families with children, and it is noted that this calls for a much more concerted strategy of equalizing women's opportunities (discussed in the next chapter). It is nonetheless vital that any sustainable and effective policy for combating social exclusion must combine child‐, family‐, and women‐friendly policies within an integrated strategy, on which the social quality and economic efficiency of twenty‐first‐century Europe will largely depend.

Keywords:   children, employment, Europe, families, households, lone parents, poverty, risk, social exclusion, social investment, social policy, welfare state, women, work‐poor households

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