Journal of Social Policy


Research Article

Classifying Welfare States: a Two-dimension Approach


GIULIANO BONOLI a1 fn1
a1 Institut des sciences sociales et pédagogiques, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract

This article begins with a survey of some influential classifications of welfare states based on different dimensions of social policy. Advantages and shortcomings are pointed out in relation to each classification reviewed. It is argued that none of these single-dimension classifications is in fact adequate to understand past and current developments in European social policy. An alternative classification, which combines elements of the ones reviewed above into a two-dimension approach, is proposed. This two-dimension classification is then related to past developments and current debates in European welfare states. The strength of this approach is its ability to reflect social policy developments in terms of both the expansion/contraction of state welfare and the convergence/divergence of European social policies.

(Received September 18 1995)
(Accepted November 3 1995)


Correspondence:

Institut des sciences sociales et pédagogiques, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

fn1 Research Fellow