The Welfare State and Life Transitions

The Welfare State and Life Transitions

A European Perspective

Edited by Dominique Anxo, Gerhard Bosch and Jill Rubery

This timely book reveals that new life courses are found to require 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.

Chapter 3: Towards an Active and Integrated Life Course Policy: The Swedish Experience

Dominique Anxo

Subjects: economics and finance, welfare economics, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, welfare states

Extract

Dominique Anxo INTRODUCTION The Swedish model is based on a strong political commitment to the goal of full employment, price stability and to egalitarian ideals (Anxo and Niklasson 2006). Presented often as the ideal type of the so-called Nordic social democratic regime, the Swedish welfare state emphasises the principles of egalitarianism, de-commodification and individualisation (Esping Andersen 1990). In the whole spectrum of social policies, individualisation has been a key part of the Swedish universal welfare state. The basic principle of the institutional model is entitlement based on citizenship/residence. The individual, and not the family, has for many years been the unit not only of taxation but also of social benefits as social rights. The individualisation of Swedish social policy is further strikingly illustrated by the lack of social benefits awarded to women on the basis of their status as wives. Sweden stands out as providing one type of societal system based on high employment rates with only a small gender gap, a high incidence of dual-earner households, extensive and generous family policy, strong welfare support systems both for childcare and parental leave, and egalitarian wage structures, including low gender wage inequality. To a considerable extent the good employment records experienced by the Swedish economy during the last three decades are clearly related to the creation of a modern welfare state, a strong public involvement in the financing and provision of healthcare, social care and education and the related expansion of public employment. Individualised taxation systems in a context of high...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information