This chapter presents the main puzzles addressed in the book. These include the fact that, contrary to expectations based on mainstream theory, the past ten to fifteen years have seen an expansion in policy areas such as active labour market policy and childcare; the fact that we witness a convergence towards an active welfare state across welfare regimes; and finally, the fact that Southern European countries are lagging behind in this development. It then discusses the methodological approach followed in the book, and concludes by highlighting its structure.
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