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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The French welfare system is usually classified as a case of a corporatist–conservative welfare regime because its main components clearly reflect the Bismarckian tradition of social insurance. The economic, social, and political functions of the French welfare system developed after 1945 explain the subsequent difficulties in transforming it following the economic crisis of the 1970s. We show that until the 1990s the main goal of welfare policies was the rescue of the French model based on financial measures. It is only since the end of the twentieth century that French social programs and institutions have been progressively (and partly) reformed to adapt to the new economic and social environment. This reform trajectory has been changed only slightly since the 2008 crisis, despite growing European intrusiveness.

Keywords: benefits, crisis, employment policy, financing, health policy, pensions, retrenchment, social partners, social policy, welfare

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