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Jon Kvist

This chapter demonstrates how social investment may change the social policy paradigm in Europe. The chapter shows how adopting a life-course perspective on social investments allows for a new view of both social problems and social policies that is more dynamic and multidimensional than the conventional life-cycle perspective. Social investments in the form of social services, health care, education as well as labour market and family policies can prepare and rehabilitate rather than repair. Social investment policies concern health, families, education and labour markets that, over the life cycle, aim to develop, strengthen, maintain and rehabilitate individuals’ functional capacities with regard to mobility, cognition, self-care, getting along, life activities and participation. In turn, societal returns manifest themselves in various domains, including reproduction and employment. In these ways the establishment of childcare, education, family, employment and health services cost money in the here and now, but these investments will pay off and reduce social expenditure in the medium to long term, thereby freeing resources for other policies.

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Romana Careja, Patrick Emmenegger and Jon Kvist

This chapter argues that in order to observe immigrant-targeted welfare retrenchment, researchers need to analyse more than levels of benefits. Focusing on policy programmes that provide a disproportionate amount of benefits to immigrants, especially those who are newly arrived, on eligibility criteria and the conditions and sanctions that are imposed on benefit claimants and their families, and on policies that regulate entry into and expulsion from the country, the authors uncover a variety of strategies through which governments can affect immigrants’ access to welfare benefits. The chapter covers the period from the 1990s through the 2000s and observes that relatively similar measures were adopted both in the UK and Denmark, indicating that a new ethnic divide marks the politics of welfare reform. However, the prediction that Europe follows in the footsteps of the United States is not fully supported, as the restrictive measures are accompanied by policies aimed at increasing immigrant integration and limiting social exclusion.