About the book

The Welfare State and Life Transitions uses the lens of key life stages to highlight changes in these transitions and in available resources for citizen support within nine European welfare states.

This timely book reveals that new life courses are found to require $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']. more, and not less welfare support, but only Sweden has developed an active life course approach and only three more could be considered supportive, in at least some life stages. For the remainder, policies were at best limited or, in Italy’s case, passive. The contributors reveal that the neglect of changing needs is leading to greater reliance on the family and the labour market, just as these support structures are becoming more unpredictable and more unequal. They argue that alongside these new class inequalities, new forms of inter-generational inequality are also emerging, particularly in pension provision.

This topical book will strongly appeal to academics and students interested in social policy, gender equality policy, pensions, industrial relations, labour economics, political science, and comparative welfare systems.


1. Shaping the Life Course: A European Perspective
Dominique Anxo, Gerhard Bosch and Jill Rubery

2. The UK Welfare State: More than Residual but Still Insufficient
Jill Rubery

3. Towards an Active and Integrated Lifecourse Policy: The Swedish Experience
Dominique Anxo

4. From the Breadwinner Model to ‘Bricolage’: Germany in Search of a New Life Course Model
Gerhard Bosch and Andreas Jansen

5. Transitions in Female and Male Life Course: Changes and Continuities in Austria
Ingrid Mairhuber

6. Life-course Transitions in Hungary Before and After the Societal Transformation
Zsolt Spéder, Balázs Kapitány and László Neumann

7. From Selective Exclusion Towards Activation: A Lifecourse Perspective on the French Social Model
Christine Erhel, Léa Lima and Chantal Nicole-Drancourt

8. “La Grande Illusion” – How Italy’s “American Dream” Turned Sour
Annamaria Simonazzi and Paola Villa

9. Life Stage Transitions and the Still Critical Role of the Family in Greece
Maria Karamessini

10. The Uncertain Path from the Mediterranean Welfare Model in Spain
Fausto Miguélez and Albert Recio