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What does comparative study of welfare provision in Europe tell us about the welfare system in Britain?

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  • Essay length: 2039 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level Political Philosophy

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What does comparative study of welfare provision in Europe tell us about the welfare system in Britain?

Welfare provision emerged with urbanization, industrialization (Bryson, 1992) and is an integral part of any capitalist society (Gough, 1979). When comparing welfare provision cross-nationally, on a macro level the welfare systems do not appear all that different (Bryson, 1992), but with closer examination they are profoundly different. The only similarities that can be detected from one welfare system to another are, history, culture, demography, politics and economy, these are the influencing factors of all welfare systems (Greve, 1983). This essay will discuss comparative studies of welfare provision in Europe with a view to finding out why the British welfare system assumes its current position. The essay will discuss Germany and Sweden specifically, looking at Germany's conservative approach to welfare and Sweden's socialist view, considering Esping- Anderson's (1998) welfare regimes model and looking at the history of both countries welfare systems. It will then consider the stages which the British welfare system has gone through to reach its current form and try and understand why, with consideration of welfare provision in Germany and Sweden.

Welfare provision in Germany has been termed; middle

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