This volume investigates the development of welfare structures in the peripheral states of Europe. Focusing on Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Finland, The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, it seeks to establish what the welfare systems shared in common with each other and where, individually and collectively, the experiences of these states differed from the established generalisations about European welfare structures.
The various contributors to the volume discuss policies such as unemployment and sickness insurance, pensions, child benefits and the principles of contributory and non-contributory schemes. The chapters show that there was a shared discussion of the basis of the rights and the status of the poor. Shared debates and discourses, however, do not testify to shared motivations, common political processes or common outcomes.
The book explores the way in which individual personality, the historical accumulation of welfare thinking, ideology on state intervention, religion, economics and national character all worked to shape the development of legislation that was to underpin the development of twentieth-century welfare states.