The European Social Model in Crisis
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The European Social Model in Crisis

Is Europe Losing Its Soul?

Edited by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead

This is the first book to provide a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the impact of the crisis and austerity policies on all elements of the European Social Model. This book assesses the situation in each individual EU member state on the basis of detailed empirical evidence and concrete case studies.
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Chapter 8: The European Social Model in a context of crisis and austerity in Portugal

Pilar González and António Figueiredo


The Portuguese implementation of the European Social Model (ESM) has not been immune to the effects of the Great Recession and of the austerity measures adopted subsequent to the sovereign debt crisis and the bailout of the Portuguese economy. We demonstrate that the Portuguese experience shows both similarities to the effects observed in other countries (under adjustment conditionality or simply affected by the consequences of the Great Recession for public finances) and very distinctive outcomes. A large number of reasons can be invoked to explain the ambivalence of the crisis effects on the implementation of the ESM in Portugal. In this introductory section, the explanation focuses on the historical context of the ESM in Portugal, responsible for two main characteristics of the Portuguese model: its recent realization and its context dependence.

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