Comparing European welfare regimes at local, national and international levels, Welfare and Culture in Europe stresses the need for a concept of culture to be incorporated into welfare studies. The book analyses the theoretic issues behind the emergence of the concept of culture in welfare during a time of crisis and change in Europe. Part II concerns administrative arrangements for welfare provision and how practitioners and users respond to them. Chapters highlight how different key social concepts such as the nature of citizenship, the role of the family and the public/private dichotomy shape the provision and use of welfare services. The final part develops possible directions for future policy research and presents alternative methodological bases for empirical work. It includes a major quantitative study of the ways in which welfare states reflect and reproduce patterns of social values, and a description of a new technique of biographical analysis of welfare users.
Welfare and Culture in Europe proposes a redirection of social policy in welfare, moving away from the limitations of the traditional, universal, bureaucratic politics of distribution to a 'post-modern' participatory and innovative politics of recognition.