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Who Cares?

Who Cares?: Women's Work, Childcare, and Welfare State Redesign

  • Book Info
    Who Cares?
    Book Description:

    By focusing on childcare and systematically comparing national experiences in Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, and the European Union, Who Cares? provides detailed information on recent social policies and a clear perspective on welfare state redesign.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8338-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Chapter One The Care Dimension in Welfare State Redesign
    (pp. 3-18)
    Jane Jenson and Mariette Sineau

    In the last decade, social policy in Europe has been menaced. As the politics of cutbacks, downsizing, and retrenchment has become endemic, as the invocation of globalization has become commonplace, and as the politics of neo-liberalism has taken hold, spending on social programs has been targeted as the root of our troubles. A major claim on state budgets, social programs presumably contribute to debts and deficits. Moreover, by requiring contributions from employers, they supposedly raise the cost of doing business and hinder competitiveness. Understood by many citizens to be a right, these programs stand accused of interfering with the agenda...

  5. Chapter Two New Contexts, New Policies
    (pp. 19-55)
    Jane Jenson and Mariette Sineau

    During the past three decades both socio-economic structures and state policies have rapidly changed, thus putting pressure on post-war citizenship regimes. By the mid-1970s it was becoming ever clearer that the post-1945 patterns of economic boom and high growth rates were no more. Nonetheless, policy-makers did not, nor could they, respond in one fell swoop to the crisis. Indeed, for a number of years the balance of political forces, ideas, and policy networks was such that the second-phase construction of the welfare state, begun in the 1960s, continued according to the pattern of existing citizenship regimes. Most concretely, this meant...

  6. Chapter Three Belgium: The Vices and Virtues of Pragmatism
    (pp. 56-87)
    Bérengère Marques-Pereira and Olivier Paye

    Belgium′s ′Social Pact′ was the major political event of the first postwar decades. Secretly concluded during the war by senior bureaucrats, employers, and unions, it was ratified at the Liberation by the National Union government (Vantemsche, 1994; Arcq and Blaise, 1999). The was a social democratic compromise, but one that delegated to the social partners decisions about the distribution of the fruits of economic growth (via wage policies) as well as management of the Social Security system created at that time (Marques-Pereira, 1990; Alaluf, 1999). The post-war Social Pact, in other words, was squarely in the tradition of the pluralist...

  7. Chapter Four France: Reconciling Republican Equality with ′Freedom of Choice′
    (pp. 88-117)
    Jane Jenson and Mariette Sineau

    A modernist societal paradigm shaped the first three decades of postwar French politics, bringing new family policy and representations of women′s social roles. The shift was made in two stages. During the Fourth Republic a certain consensus prevailed, centred around a ′familialist′ vision, founded on the ideal of the woman at home raising her children (Prost, 1984). Responding to the preferences of theMouvement républicain populaire(MRP), in particular, family policy had three major characteristics. First, its objectives were pro-natalist. Second, programs discouraged labour force participation of women, especially mothers, despite labour shortages during post-war reconstruction. Finally, there was little...

  8. Chapter Five Italy: Policy without Participation
    (pp. 118-145)
    Franca Bimbi and Vincent Della Sala

    Italy′s post-war citizenship regimes contained a number of paradoxes with respect to the care of children and the representation of women in work. The role and nature of the family were a source of tension in the drafting of the constitution, yet the political elite avoided confrontation on family policy throughout the post-war period. Italy has developed an extensive welfare state and forms of social assistance; yet many of the groups that are central to family policy – such as the elderly and youth – remain largely outside the sphere of state intervention. Although Italy has a centralized unitary state,...

  9. Chapter Six Sweden: Models in Crisis
    (pp. 146-176)
    Anne-Marie Daune-Richard and Rianne Mahon

    Sweden has often been considered a model social democracy where much has been done to take the sting out of class inequalities, but it has also come to stand for equality of the sexes. This reputation is due in no small part to policies that have eased the tensions between domestic and paid labour, faced especially by working mothers. Of particular note are generous parental leave insurance and a publicly funded, and largely publicly run, childcare system, which has gone a long way to meeting potential demand.¹ The egalitarian Swedish model of family policy and the citizenship regime within which...

  10. Chapter Seven Europe: An Actor without a Role
    (pp. 177-213)
    George Ross

    These sobering facts establish the context within which any discussion of family and childcare policy in the European Union (EU) must be discussed. The EU is a unique organization, whose Member States ′pool′ parts of their sovereignty, through negotiated treaties, to confront common problems. What is not pooled remains reserved to national sovereignty. The overwhelming bulk of the matters thus combined have been trade and market related, while social policy is one important area reserved to Member States. ′Family policy,′ as part of social policy, is not even recognized by all Member States as a legitimate area for public policy,...

  11. Chapter Eight Comparing Childcare Programs: Commonalities amid Variety
    (pp. 214-239)
    Jane Jenson and Mariette Sineau

    As documented in detail in the previous chapters, the citizenship regimes of each of the four countries have been challenged by the economic and social changes of the last two decades. It was described in chapter 2 how, by the end of the 1990s Belgium, France, Italy, and Sweden were responding to the pressures that had made the discourses and practices associated with the post-war compromise, its institutions, as well as its employment and family programs difficult to sustain. New policy dynamics have taken hold everywhere. As documented in chapters 3 through 7, in all countries as well as in...

  12. Chapter Nine Citizenship in the Era of Welfare State Redesign
    (pp. 240-266)
    Jane Jenson and Mariette Sineau

    In recent decades economic and political restructuring have begun to alter our notions of citizenship and citizen rights in profound ways. Promoting equality was a core value of the post-war years. While the class dimension of equality was most visible as a result of the important role played by political parties and unions representing workers, gender equality was never totally ignored. Moreover, by the mid-1960s active women′s movements were pushing for rights and policies to eliminate long-standing inequalities between women and men. Among the many claims addressed to the state, one was virtually constant: women needed to achieve a basic...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 267-290)
  14. Contributors
    (pp. 291-292)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 293-294)