Southern Europe

Authored by: Maria Petmesidou

Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138631649
eBook ISBN: 9781315207049
Adobe ISBN:


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Late industrialization, a record of authoritarian regimes (and/or political instability) until late in the post-war period, and a configuration of rent-seeking statist-clientelistic practices (though of varying prevalence across the region) are among the main features of Southern European (SE) countries that, to one degree or another, account for their being laggards in welfare state formation. An upward trend of social expenditure is manifest since the early 1980s through to the turn of the century, accompanied by landmark reforms (e.g. the establishment of national health systems, devolution of healthcare and social welfare functions to regional entities in the case of Spain and Italy). Hence SE welfare states can no longer be considered rudimentary.

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