The general purpose of this book is to present a new classification of the advanced welfare states based on their "coverage format", i.e. the degree of inclusiveness of social insurance schemes. This classification distinguishes between pure occupational (i.e. work-related), mixed occupational, mixed universalistic, and pure universalistic welfare states. These four distinct types are also explained in their historical genesis with reference to a heuristic scheme which takes into account socio-economic, cultural-institutional and party-political factors. The author attributes special importance to this latter factor, and demonstrates how crucial its role has been in shaping welfare developments at critical moments. The historical explanation builds, in general terms, on the experience of several Western countries. A number of cases, particularly interesting on classificatory and explanatory grounds, are however the object of closer qualitative illustration (such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK and Sweden). Special attention is moreover devoted to the Italian experience from the early beginnings of social insurance legislation in the late XIX century up to the health reform of 1978. The Italian case offers in fact a very good illustration of the continuing tension between the two polar models of social solidarity (universalism and occupationalism) and provides an ideal ground for testing the efficacy of the heuristic scheme. In the final chapter, the overall prospects of social solidarity after the long "crisis" of the welfare state are discussed, and some scenarios are outlined for the welfare states of the European Community.
Contents: Introduction. - Part one: methods and definitions. - I. Three decades of comparative research. - II. The essence of the welfare state. Part two: Comparative analysis. - III. The worlds of welfare and their classification. - IV. Universalistic and occupational models: the original divide. - V. Between Beveridge and Bismarck: the genesis of mixed types. - Part three: The Italian case. - VI. The Italian road to occupation welfare: the Liberal beginnings. - VII. The Italian road to universalism: from the D'Aragona Plan to the health reform. - Part four: VIII. Towards new models of solidarity. - IX. Conclusions. - Bibliographic references.
Maurizio Ferrera is a Professor at the faculty of Political Science in Pavia and at Bocconi University in Milan.