Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

The State and the Family: A Comparative Analysis of Family Policies in Industrialized Countries

Academic journal article The Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies

The State and the Family: A Comparative Analysis of Family Policies in Industrialized Countries

Article excerpt

Anne Helene Gauthier

Oxford University Press, New York ISBN 0-19-828804-2

Perceived as a somewhat weakened institution, or at least as an institution worthy of state support, the family has emerged as a major issue on the political agenda of many governments of industrialized countries in recent years. Countries such as France, in particular, have been concerned about the declining birthrate, and have sought to strengthen the family in the hope of increasing fertility. This is of real importance to the French when they look at the continuing population explosion in North Africa, where women still average six live births, and the pressure of North Africans to seek to migrate across the Mediterranean into France.

Questions of how best to support families with children, working parents, lone-parents, and families in need have been given increasing attention. Talk of family-friendly policies has been recurrent on the political scene, and has been accompanied by a renewed commitment on the part of governments to support families. …

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