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Time and Poverty in Western Welfare States
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  • 17 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 396 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.58 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521003520 | ISBN-10: 0521003520)

Time and Poverty in Western Welfare States is the English-language adaptation of one of the most important contributions to welfare economics published in recent years. Professors Leibfried and Leisering offer a time-based (dynamic) analysis of the study of poverty, and suggest the need for a radical re-think of conventional theoretical and policy approaches. The core of this study is the empirical analysis of the life course of recipients of 'Social Assistance' in Germany, although the conclusions are put into a wider context of socio-economic and socio-political analysis and comparative observations are made with other countries, notably the USA. Time, Life and Poverty will be of interest to upper-level students, researchers and policy-makers in a wide range of social science disciplines, including: economics, social policy, sociology, psychology and European studies.

• Essential reading for researchers and students in social-policy and welfare economics • Important and original new research on subject of great topical importance with major theoretical and policy implications • Includes an introduction by Ralf Dahrendorf


Preface R. Dahrendorf; Part I. The Welfare State and the Life Course Passages Through Poverty: 1. Poverty in the welfare state: the life-course approach; 2. Life course as politics; Part II. Poverty in the Life Course: The Dynamics of Social Decline and Ascent: 3. Objective time: how long do people claim social assistance?; 4. Subjective time: how social assistance is perceived and evaluated; 5. Living time: poverty careers between exclusion and integration; 6. Institutionalised time: does social assistance create dependency?; Part III. Poverty and Social Change Debates and Policies: 7. Between denial and dramatisation: images of poverty in postwar Germany; 8. Disruption and continuity in life courses: poverty in unified Germany; 9. Increasingly dynamic? The impact of social change on social assistance dynamics; Part IV. Poverty and Society: Towards a New Welfare State?: 10. Time and poverty: towards a new picture of poverty and social exclusion; 11. Paths out of poverty: perspectives on active policy; 12. Social inequality in transition; 13. Individual lives and the welfare state - recasting the German welfare regime.


'With their unique longitudinal analysis, the authors tackle the questions which are likely to be central as nations across the world examine and reform their social policies: How long are people poor, what leads them into poverty, and what can lead them out? The authors' careful, creative analysis should be read by thoughtful people who care about poverty and policy in Germany, Europe, and the world.' David Ellwood, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

'Presents a multitude of interesting facts about poverty and social assistance in Germany, interpreting them within a larger theoretical framework that uses economic as well as sociological/psychological theories on the life course. By and large this analysis is not done by US economists, and the book provides a good example of its value. The authors' distinctions between different subgroups among the poor should be useful to those thinking about US welfare reform, as states attempt to distinguish between social assistance recipients.' Rebecca M. Blank, University of Michigan

'Will become a classic text in the literature of social policy research. It is backed with original theoretical insights and innovative proposals for policy reform. The authors open up a new era of scholarly enquiry into the complex relationships between poverty, social exclusion and class structures as they change over time.' Robert Pinker, London School of Economics and Political Science

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