Politics and Society in Western Europe is a comprehensive introduction for students of West European politics and of comparative politics. This new edition has been extensively revised and updated to meet with the new needs of undergraduate students as they come to terms with a changing social and political landscape in Europe.
This textbook provides a full analysis of the political systems of 18 Western European countries, their political parties, elections, and party systems, as well as the structures of government at local, regional, national and European Union levels.
Throughout the book, key theoretical ideas are accessibly introduced and examined against the very latest empirical data on civil society and the state.
Chapter 11: Public Sector Growth and the Welfare State
Public Sector Growth and the Welfare State
Tocqueville saw the strong trend towards equality as very typical of democratic society, replacing aristocratic society, with its status distinctions that people inherited by birth. In a democratic society, people will not rest content with the mere abolition of formal or legal impediments to the equality of men and women, i.e. formal equality. There will be increasingly strong pressure for real equality, or the equalizing of the living conditions among various social groups. And the search for equality of opportunity and equality of results would take the form of state intervention in civil society – that was very clear to Tocqueville. Public sector expansion is inevitable in a democratic society, even to ...