The Politics of Social Solidarity: Class Bases of the European Welfare State, 1875-1975

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This book examines the social bases of the European welfare state, and the interests developed in or against social policy by various classes of society, during the period 1875-1975 in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. By analysing the competing concerns of different social factors that lie behind the evolution of social policy, it explains why some nations have had an easy time in developing a generous and solidaristic welfare state while others fought long and entrenched battles. In particular, the book examines the period after the Second World War and looks in detail at the stake developed by the bourgeoisie in welfare policies. By casting its net across five nations and virtually a whole century, the book attempts to establish a broad logic of interest behind the welfare state on the basis of a very extensive range of archival material.