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Trends of Social Welfare Systems: From Convergence to Attractiveness, an Exploratory Approach 1

By  and Denis Bouget and Denis Bouget


Each country has its own history of welfare state but generally within a common system of values and finality: a peaceful society and a ‘good society ’ based on universal values. After the Second World War, during the golden age, the differences between the levels of social welfare were often conceived as a lag effect, more or less in a similar way to the notion of takeoff in economic development. This was analysed as a kind of laggardness which could be offset over time by extending social rights. Finally, all the most developed countries were supposed to participate in an upward convergence of social welfare systems. Convergence in the social welfare systems of the most developed countries has been very often analysed in a large number of papers and books. These studies show that the idea of convergence is present in all social domains. It is obvious that part of the convergence of the most developed social welfare systems results from the construction of Europe. However, the principle of subsidiarity means that national welfare systems remain partly autonomous in front of European harmonisation. This paper is based on another source of convergence, i.e., the reforms which are inspired by other national systems or reforms. In many European countries, these reforms have mainl

Year: 2009
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