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Policy legacies, welfare regimes, and social policy responses to COVID-19 in Europe

Béland, Daniel, Cantillon, Bea, Hick, Rod ORCID:, Greve, Bent and Moreira, Amílcar 2023. Policy legacies, welfare regimes, and social policy responses to COVID-19 in Europe. Borner, Stefanie and Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin, eds. European Social Policy and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges to National Welfare and EU Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3-27. (10.1093/oso/9780197676189.003.0001)

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Much has been written since the publication in 1990 of Esping-Andersen’s The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism on the concept of welfare regime as an analytical tool to study policy stability and change in Europe and beyond. As a concept, welfare regime emphasizes both stability over change and divergence between country clusters over convergence. Studying on concrete policy instruments rather than spending patterns and focusing on policies introduced to protect workers against the risk of unemployment and the loss of income, this chapter explores potential patterns of convergence and divergence in the social policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in four distinct welfare regimes: the Bismarckian regime, the Nordic regime, the liberal regime, and the Southern European regime. The main conclusions of our analysis are twofold. First, we show that, regardless of the regime in which they belong, countries have generally enacted emergency measures to expand and/or supplement existing policy instruments. Second, we show that existing national policy legacies help explain key differences in the design of the policies adopted as a consequence of this imperative.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 May 2022
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 15:14

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