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Reforming European Welfare StatesGermany and the United Kingdom Compared$
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Jochen Clasen

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199270716.001.0001

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Family policy: charting new waters

Family policy: charting new waters

(p.137) 6 Family policy: charting new waters
Reforming European Welfare States

Jochen Clasen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The chapter discusses three periods of policy change in the field of family policy. Concentrating on basic aspects of family support, such benefits and tax allowances for families, as well as pension credits and parental leave programmes, the chapter contrasts current policy provision with the one which existed in the late 1970s. Using a number of indicators, it assess the scale and profile of change in each country. The chapter argues that both countries have traditionally favoured the male breadwinner families and been rather modest in the support for families per se, albeit for different reasons. However, family support has expanded in both countries, particularly since the 1990s, for several reasons. The ‘paid work’ oriented rationale for policy expansion has become a major driving force in the UK and, more recently, in Germany. Institutionally less embedded than the other two policy areas, national family policy profiles have evolved more dynamically.

Keywords:   family policy, policy expansion, child benefit, child tax allowances, parental benefit, parental leave, male breadwinner family, childcare policy, German constitutional court

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