The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State is the authoritative and definitive guide to the contemporary welfare state. In nearly fifty newly-written articles, scholars offer an account of everything one needs to know about the modern welfare state. The text is divided into eight sections. It opens with three articles that evaluate the philosophical case for (and against) the welfare state. Surveys of the welfare state's history and of the approaches taken to its study are followed by four extended sections, which offer an in-depth survey of current state of knowledge across the whole range of issues that the welfare state embraces. The first of these sections looks at inputs and actors (including the roles of parties, unions, and employers), the impact of gender and religion, patterns of migration and a changing public opinion, the role of international organisations and the impact of globalisation. The next two sections cover policy inputs (in areas such as pensions, health care, disability, care of the elderly, unemployment, and labour market activation) and their outcomes (in terms of inequality and poverty, macroeconomic performance, and retrenchment). The seventh section surveys welfare state experience around the globe (and not just within the OECD). Two final articles consider questions about the global future of the welfare state.