chapter  22
24 Pages

Comparative Social Policy

ByHarry Cowen

For a number of years, the growing literature on the fi eld of comparative social policy focused upon discrete nations (Hill, 1995; Sykes and Alcock, 1995). This included comparison of such aspects as economic growth rates, but also the particular approaches between, for example, the UK and Germany with respect to housing assistance or unemployment benefi ts. Esping-Andersen’s (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism transformed the whole sphere of comparative study by seeking explanations for the differences and similarities, successes and failures, producing prime categories of welfare states. His research collected and analysed data from 18

advanced industrial economies, leading to his typology of welfare regimes: the corporatist state, the liberal state, and the social democratic state.