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The Generational Welfare Contract

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

This groundbreaking book brings together perspectives from political philosophy and comparative social policy to discuss generational justice. Contributing new insights about the preconditions for designing sustainable, inclusive policies for all of society, the authors expose the possibilities of supporting egalitarian principles in an aging society through balanced generational welfare contracts.
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Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

The research carried out in this book originates from a collaborative research project that we initiated in 2011. Although this book has been a long time in the making, it could hardly have been timelier. Generational perspectives on justice, institutions and outcomes in welfare states are more topical than ever.

In our pursuit of the book project, we were helped by several external research grants. Most importantly, we received a three-year project grant from the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) on “Generational welfare contracts in transition: just institutions and outcomes in Sweden and other countries” (no. 2010-0336). We also benefited from the financial support of another FORTE project on “Changing social policy and income inequality: Sweden in comparative perspective” (no. 2012-0995), and a project financed by the Swedish Research Council on “Global economic crisis, institutional change and inequality in comparative perspective: changing Western welfare states and labor markets since the global financial crisis of 2008” (no. 2012-5503).

Several colleagues provided useful comments on different parts of the book. We would like to express our gratitude to Ludvig Beckman and Kåre Vernby at Stockholm University, Karl-Oskar Lindgren and Sven Oskarsson at Uppsala University, and Pieter Vanhuysse at the University of Southern Denmark. We would like to thank Sofie Burman, Laure Doctrinal, Mari Eneroth and Sebastian Sirén for excellent research assistance. We are also grateful to members of the Economic Ethics Network, the Research Committee on poverty, social welfare and social policy of the International Sociological Association, and the Foundation for International Studies on Social Security for useful feedback.

We thank Emily Mew, our commissioning editor at Edward Elgar, for supporting and helping us to finalize this book project.