This introductory chapter first sets out the focus of this book: the perception and management of social risks in a corporatist welfare state. Using the Netherlands as its backdrop, it provides a primarily qualitative, in-depth case study of the perception and management of different social-risk forms: disability, childcare, and insufficient employability. More specifically, the book deals with: the perceptions of these risks by political, social, and economic actors in welfare provision – political parties, state policy makers, trade unionists, and employers; their consequential management within the corporatist context; and what this says about the collective nature of social risks in the Dutch welfare state. Changing social risks, the development of the welfare state and social-risk differentiation, and developments in industrial relations, are discussed. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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