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Towards A Social Investment Welfare State?Ideas, Policies and Challenges$
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Nathalie Morel, Bruno Palier, and Joakim Palme

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847429247

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847429247.001.0001

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Promoting social investment through work–family policies: which nations do it and why?1

Promoting social investment through work–family policies: which nations do it and why?1

Chapter:
(p.153) SIX Promoting social investment through work–family policies: which nations do it and why?1
Source:
Towards A Social Investment Welfare State?
Author(s):
Kimberly J. Morgan
Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847429247.003.0006

This chapter analyses the development of childcare and work-family reconciliation policies in three groups of countries: countries where early childhood education and care policies are well developed (Sweden and France); path-shifting countries who, in the past decade or so, have broken from decades of entrenched immobility on child care and leave-time policy (Germany, the Netherlands and the UK); and countries that so far have not developed any such policies (Austria, Italy and Spain). It characterises the nature of the recent changes that have taken place, compares these reforms to the social investment ideals which are commonly articulated and then probes the political forces driving these reforms. The chapter shows that the policies which have been implemented have not always been designed in the most gender egalitarian way, and that gender equality and the quality of childcare have often been sacrificed in the name of labour market participation.

Keywords:   work-family policies, childcare, gender equality, quality of care, labour market participation, social investment

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