Once again: Are welfare states in crisis?

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Welfare state crises have long fascinated researchers. Thisintroduction distills the special issue's insights on this endur-ing topic. Overall, the articles indicate that future debatessurrounding crisis types and responsive policies will remainimportant. Simple or singular crisis explanations prove elu-sive. Uncertainty persists regarding whether crises are epi-sodic or constant and occur on macro or micro levels.Diverse welfare regimes further complicate crisis interpreta-tions. Perhaps academic discourse should shift from “crisis” frameworks towards framing pressures as ongoing varia-tions. These encompass struggles over legitimacy, demo-graphic changes, financing dilemmas, and societal battlesover resources and options. Specifically, the articles revealthe limitations of sweeping crisis narratives, emphasizingthe complex, gradual pressures shaping social policies.Welfare systems balance simultaneous stresses rather thanexperiencing overarching crises. Even pivotal events rarelytrigger seismic shifts, as continuity typically prevails overradical departures. In summary, this special issue providesnuance to welfare state debates by delving into multiface-ted, incremental change rather than superficial crisis rhe-toric. The articles underscore the diversity of pressures andresponses across varied regimes, challenging simplistic crisisnotions. This highlights the need for constant welfare stateadaptation despite the absence of outright crises
TidsskriftSocial Policy and Administration
Udgave nummer 2
Sider (fra-til)211-214
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2024


  • crisis
  • politics of social and public policiespolitics of social and public policies
  • public policy making
  • regulation and accountability
  • welfare states

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