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Continental Western Europe – the 'Bismarckian' welfare systems


This article investigates the commonalities and transformations of a specific type of welfare system. It concentrates on the origins of these systems, the main goals they tried to achieve through their historical development and the specific principles on which they rely. It also describes their institutional traits and complementarities with certain forms of industrial capitalism during their golden age. The specificities of the crises these systems are facing are explored. The various sequences of welfare reform that have led these systems to adopt structural reforms are then elaborated. The conclusion focuses on the dualization processes that characterize the main changes of Bismarckian welfare systems. The recent reforms have led in multiple dualizations: the development of two worlds of welfare within the public system; the addition of a private component to the public one; and the division of the population between insured insiders and assisted or activated outsiders.
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hal-02297511 , version 1 (26-09-2019)



Bruno Palier. Continental Western Europe – the 'Bismarckian' welfare systems. Stephan Leibfried; Jane Lewis; Herbert Obinger; Christopher Pierson. The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, Oxford University Press, pp.601 - 615, 2010, 9780199579396. ⟨hal-02297511⟩
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