• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part ...

Welfare State
Welfare state
Maurizio Ferrera
History of the Subject

The welfare state is one of the greatest political and institutional achievements of the 20th century. A true European invention – dating back to Wilhelmine Germany – its essence lies in the formal commitment of public authorities to take care of the needs of their citizens in the event of a pre-established catalogue of social risks, most notably old age, disability, work injuries, unemployment, sickness and maternity. Welfare programmes have come to represent a key defining feature of Europe's market democracies and have inspired similar developments throughout the world. The increasing salience of the welfare state has also prompted a heated debate on the expansion of this institution, its cross-national variations, their ...

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