Nordic Welfare States in the European Context

Nordic Welfare States in the European Context

Nordic Welfare States in the European Context

Nordic Welfare States in the European Context

Synopsis

This important sequel to Nordic Social Policy compares social policy and developments over the last twenty years in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden with those in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other Western European countries.

Excerpt

This book is the second product of a Nordic researcher network established in the mid-1990s. The aim of the research project has been to assess changes in the Nordic welfare states from an empirical perspective and employing comparative data. The first goal was to examine developments within the Nordic group of countries and compare their paths in a framework stressing the changing preconditions for the maintenance of the welfare states. The second aim was to examine the recent history of the Nordic welfare states from a broader perspective by including non-Nordic countries in our comparison.

The Nordic welfare states in the 1990s' this network was created in 1995 when the first ideas for empirical comparative research on changes in Nordic welfare states were presented to a number of Nordic scholars. Idea papers were distributed, and seminars to discuss these and the emerging drafts were arranged. The discussions on research areas, choice of partners and type of co-operation eventually resulted in a research proposal that was granted funding from the Joint Committee of the Nordic Social Science Research Councils (NOS-S) for 1996-97. The research network thus formed set out to be international at the design level, and in the analysis of data and its interpretation.

While the research work on Nordic comparisons was being set in motion, the Nordic Council of Ministers launched a four-year research programme entitled 'Norden och Europa'. This was motivated by the changing relationship patterns between the Nordic countries and the EU and by the larger political, economic and cultural upheavals happening in the integrating Europe and after the collapse of the Soviet bloc. The programme invited research on areas identified to be under pressure for change. One of the four themes was the future of the 'Nordic welfare state'. Not surprisingly, the idea soon emerged for a second phase of research to build on the work in the pipeline. A larger European comparison in terms of number of countries was

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