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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides a characterization of the four Southern European welfare states and their developmental trajectory. It first reviews the main dynamics of political and socio-economic modernization. It briefly reports the take off, consolidation, and expansion of the most important welfare programmes. The process of reform undertaken in the last two decades is reconstructed. This reconstruction is framed in terms of ‘recalibration’, i.e. a sequence of institutional changes aimed at gradually rebalancing social protection both across risks and across social categories. The article finally presents a few summary remarks about the overall contribution that the literature(s) on Southern European welfare has given to the field of comparative welfare studies and about the policy ‘lessons’ which the South European experience can possibly offer to families of nations in other parts of the world.

Keywords: Southern European welfare, welfare state development, political modernization, socio-economic modernization, welfare programmes, reform

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