Euro-Austerity and Welfare States: Comparative Political Economy of Reform during the Maastricht Decade
Published: February 2021© 2021
288 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.95 in, 1 Figure
Euro-Austerity and Welfare States analyses the political economy of welfare state reform in the first episode of Euro-austerity during the 1990s. It shows how Europe’s welfare states survived unrelenting pressures stemming from the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) laid out in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. Throughout, H. Tolga Bolukbasi draws lessons for scholars and policy practitioners, and his insightful analysis sheds important light on the second wave of Euro-austerity that set in following the Great Recession of 2008.
Paying careful attention to government expenditures and budgetary politics, Bolukbasi analyses the political economy of reform in countries where the EMU’s impact was expected to be greatest. Based on in-depth comparative case studies of Belgium, Greece, and Italy, he shows how scholars, policymakers, and citizens alike expected Euro-austerity to erode Europe’s welfare states. Contrary to popular opinion, Bolukbasi finds that the reality was much more complicated. A thorough critique of the "Euro-austerity hypothesis," this book presents a rigorous comparative study of the resilience of the welfare state in various national contexts.
List of Tables and Figures
1. Euro-Austerity and Europe’s Welfare States
2. Institutionalization of Euro-Austerity
3. Euro-Austerity to Welfare State Retrenchment?
4. Euro-Austerity and Political Economy of Reform in Belgium
5. Euro-Austerity and Political Economy of Reform in Greece
6. Euro-Austerity and Political Economy of Reform in Italy
7. Euro-Austerity and Comparative Political Economy of Reform
8. On Euro-Austerity – Episode II
"Euro-Austerity and Welfare States illuminates the nature of the mechanisms at work during the period of Euro accession and debate. Insightful and well written, it contributes an interesting argument to current European debates."Philippe Pochet, General Director, European Union Trade Institute
"This monograph provides an analytically sophisticated and detailed account of the first wave of institutionalized austerity in the European Union. Dr. Tolga Bolukbasi applies the best tools of political economy and sociology to understand the reframing of welfare states within the constraining economic conditions adopted by European institutions and Member States. A masterful reconstruction of a key moment both for building the European Union and setting the stage for its contemporary difficulties."Jane Jenson, Professeure émérite Political science, Université de Montréal
"A lively comparative history of how Maastricht-induced external discipline confronted the entrenched domestic politics of welfare regimes and of how the latter mostly won. It confronts easy assumptions with detailed empirical investigation that will benefit students of the European Union, welfare systems, and comparative political economy. A stimulating and insightful history."Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor in Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor in European Politics, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science
"This book provides an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the impact of Euro-austerity on the welfare state in the 1990s. Combining statistical analysis and comparative insights, H. Tolga Bolukbasi shows that social and political forces opposing radical change won out against the best laid plans of government proponents of austerity, resulting in welfare reform but not retrenchment in this critical period."Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Boston University
"With clarity and grace, Tolga Bolukbasi takes the reader through the nuances of the policy choices often dubbed ‘austerity’. He shows us that the script of Euro-austerity has been edited and shaped by governments and that organized social actors have an influence on the trajectory and outcome. Now that European countries grapple with the new macro-economic and political conditions of the post-pandemic recovery, the lessons of this volume are even more relevant."Claudio M. Radaelli, Professor of Comparative Public Policy and STG Chair, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute Italy