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Labor Divided in the Postwar European Welfare State
The Netherlands and the United Kingdom

  • Date Published: June 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107035492


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About the Authors
  • This book explains how the success of attempts to expand the boundaries of the postwar welfare state in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom depended on organized labor's willingness to support redistribution of risk and income among different groups of workers. By illuminating and explaining differences within and between labor union movements, it traces the historical origins of 'inclusive' and 'dual' welfare systems. In doing so, the book shows that labor unions can either have a profoundly conservative impact on the welfare state or act as an impelling force for progressive welfare reform. Based on an extensive range of archive material, this book explores the institutional foundations of social solidarity.

    • Provides a major reconsideration of organized labor's role in the development of the postwar welfare state
    • Offers a comprehensive history of the British and Dutch welfare states, tackling all the major social insurance risks (old age, unemployment, sickness and disability) on a chapter-by-chapter basis
    • Entirely original research based on a wealth of untapped primary resources
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Oude Nijhuis's book is a convincing and timely contribution to the contemporary debates on welfare state development. It highlights the gripping conflicts that, while dealing with seemingly tedious and technical features of welfare programs, reveal key differences in the welfare state preferences of labor and capital. This book opens new paths for further research.' Matthieu Leimgruber, University of Geneva

    'Oude Nijhuis's book is an essential contribution to our knowledge about welfare state formation … His most intriguing and eye-opening findings concern opposition to reform within organized labor - an issue that is virtually missing from the literature as an important empirical phenomenon or even a theoretical possibility. In Britain, most notably, it played a crucial role in stunting the welfare state. The research is entirely original, based as it is on a wealth of untapped primary sources, including archival sources from both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. For this reason, even readers well versed in the literature on the British welfare state will be in for surprises. Those interested in the Netherlands, including Dutch readers, will find a deep trove of new knowledge about welfare state formation in that country as well.' Peter Swenson, Charlotte Marion Saden Professor of Political Science, Yale University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107035492
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 9 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Labor and the development of the postwar welfare state
    2. Labor divided
    3. The development of old age pensions in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom
    4. The development of unemployment insurance in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom
    5. The development of disability insurance in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom
    6. Union solidarity and the use of social security for early retirement purposes in The Netherlands
    7. Conclusions and implications.

  • Author

    Dennie Oude Nijhuis, Universiteit Leiden
    Dennie Oude Nijhuis is an Assistant Professor of History at Leiden University. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bilgi University, Istanbul University and Chulalongkorn University, and a research fellow at Yale University's Department of Political Science. Oude Nijhuis specializes in the comparative political economy of labor markets and welfare states and the political economy of European integration. His work has been published in World Politics, Labor History, Twentieth Century British History and the Journal of Economic and Social Geography. His thesis was shortlisted for the Nederlandse Kring voor de Wetenschap der Politiek Annual Dissertation Award. He has received an NWO–Rubicon grant for a research proposal that aimed to uncover the determinants of organized labor support for redistribution. In 2011 he was awarded the prize for best article of the year on a non-U.S. or comparative topic by the journal Labor History.

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