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After AusterityWelfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession$
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Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth, and Heejung Chung

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790266.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

Stretching the Limits of Solidarity

Stretching the Limits of Solidarity

The German Case

(p.27) 2 Stretching the Limits of Solidarity
After Austerity

Jan-Ocko Heuer

Steffen Mau

Oxford University Press

Germany had already made major reforms to social policy before the Great Recession. It had moved away from the traditional corporatist breadwinner welfare state model towards greater individual responsibility (private pensions and workfarist reforms, with sharp benefit cuts), and much more extensive support for childcare. Social investment and training measures have been much strengthened. These measures, carried out within a general framework of austerity and retrenchment, had increased employment, although the expansion in work since the early 2000s was mainly in low-skilled precarious jobs. The country weathered the recession successfully. New pressures are from the deepening divisions between those advantaged by the new regime (highly skilled middle-class people in secure jobs) and outsiders in an increasingly dualized labour market. Very high levels of immigration have led to further tensions. Germany has successfully transformed its welfare state, but faces further challenges from the social and political consequences of those reforms.

Keywords:   Germany, welfare state, continuity, austerity, cuts, individual responsibility, social investment, childcare, immigration, employment

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