Future of the Welfare State

Future of the Welfare State

THE POLITICS OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY: CLASS BASES OF THE EUROPEAN WELFARE STATE 1875-1975, by Peter Baldwin. Cambridge University Press, 1990. 353 pp. $22.95 paper.

CRISIS AND CHOICE IN EUROPEAN SOCIAL DEMOCRACY, by Fritz W. Scharpf, translated by Ruth Crowley and Fred Thompson. Cornell University Press, 1991. 303 pp. $49.95 cloth; $17.95 paper.

The end of the Cold War should mean the end of the illusion that “free market capitalism” and communism are the only choices for a developed economy. The experiences of advanced European welfare states show that there are many more possibilities for producing an efficient economy than were ever dreamt of by Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Yet at this historical turning point, European social democracy is in crisis. Hence, it is vital to understand more about the origins of the advanced welfare states, their successes and failures.