Recent research has shown that the traditional view of social welfare in Southern Europe as 'rudimentary' is a misreading of its distinct nature: welfare arrangements in the region do not 'lag behind' as a whole, rather they suffer from serious imbalances that cause inequities and inefficiencies. The article focuses on Greece and Spain, two countries that differ in terms of economic performance and size, but shave a recent history of successful transition to democracy and common membership of the Southern European 'model' of welfare. The article shows that the welfare policies pursued in these two countries over the last 20 years were marked by strong expansionary trends that clearly outbalanced occasional cut-backs. This evidence lends no support to the Social dumping' hypothesis. If anything, 'catching up with Europe' in terms of social as well as economic standards seems to have been elevated to something of a national ideal, shared by both government and opposition. As the expansionary thrust of 'welfare state building' is being exhausted the biggest challenge facing Southern European welfare states is the construction of welfare institutions in tune with a changing society.

Testing the 'social dumping' hypothesis in Southern Europe: Welfare policies in Greece and Spain during the last 20 years

Matsaganis E.
2000

Abstract

Recent research has shown that the traditional view of social welfare in Southern Europe as 'rudimentary' is a misreading of its distinct nature: welfare arrangements in the region do not 'lag behind' as a whole, rather they suffer from serious imbalances that cause inequities and inefficiencies. The article focuses on Greece and Spain, two countries that differ in terms of economic performance and size, but shave a recent history of successful transition to democracy and common membership of the Southern European 'model' of welfare. The article shows that the welfare policies pursued in these two countries over the last 20 years were marked by strong expansionary trends that clearly outbalanced occasional cut-backs. This evidence lends no support to the Social dumping' hypothesis. If anything, 'catching up with Europe' in terms of social as well as economic standards seems to have been elevated to something of a national ideal, shared by both government and opposition. As the expansionary thrust of 'welfare state building' is being exhausted the biggest challenge facing Southern European welfare states is the construction of welfare institutions in tune with a changing society.
Greece; Social dumping; Spain; Welfare
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1116812
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