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The Future of the Welfare StateCrisis Myths and Crisis Realities$
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Francis G. Castles

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270170

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199270171.001.0001

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A European Welfare State Convergence?

A European Welfare State Convergence?

(p.73) 4 A European Welfare State Convergence?
The Future of the Welfare State

Francis G. Castles (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Seeks to explore the notion that European welfare states have been becoming more alike in recent years, with a view to establishing the reality or otherwise of the notion of a distinct ‘European social model’. The analysis shows that convergence within Europe is largely restricted to aggregate social expenditure levels, but that welfare state standards, spending on individual welfare programmes and welfare state priorities quite often differ appreciably within and between different European families of nations. In consequence, it would appear that we are no nearer to a European ‘social model’ in the early twenty-first century than we were in the early 1980s.

Keywords:   European social model, Europeanization, families of nations, policy convergence, policy harmonization, race to the bottom, welfare programmes, welfare standards, welfare types

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