The 1990s have been witnessing a wave of reforms of social protection throughout Europe, aimed at responding to the new problems posed by demography and a changing economic context. Is the re-adaptation achieved so far enough? This volume argues that, however important, the measures of modernization so far introduced in the various countries are not enough to meet the long term challenges to the European model of welfare. Most of the institutional traps connected with the old policies are still in place and bolder reform options must be considered. The author advances original proposals regarding a new employability offensive, a thorough redesign of social insurance, moves towards a "sustainable" universalism as regards the safety net and health care and the definition of new decision-making rules.
Presentation. - 1. Exogenous challenges and constraints. - The two faces of the crisis. - New problems, old solutions. - The exogenous constraints to re-adaptation. - A decade of reforms: pensions - health care - unemployment and incapacity for work - family policy and social assistance - financing reforms. - An incomplete re-adaptation. - 2. The internal traps. - A brief neo-institutional excursus. - An over-insured welfare state. - A spiral of maladjustment?. - 3. The (ir) responsibility of politics. - Games of solidarity, games of power. - The distributive slippage of social policy. - Entitlements, politics and public debts. - The new subtractive policies of the 1990s: features and limits. - 4. Four social Europes. - One, four or fifteen social models?. - The four social Europes. - Different universalisms, different selectivities. - Do we need a Social Dimension in the EU? Can we build it?. - 5. A fair and sustainable welfare state. - A more ambitious social reformism. - From unemployment insurance to employability promotion: an employment friendlier social protection - a fairer and more flexible labour market - effective employment services - education and training - promoting mobility. - Redesigning social insurance. - The safety net: is the basic income only a utopia?. - A sustainable universalism in health care. - The political sustainability of the welfare state: which new institutions?
Maurizio Ferrera (1955, MA from Stanford, PH.D. from the EUI in Florence) is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of Pavia and at Bocconi University of Milan.