Contradictions of the Welfare State
By Claus Offe
Edited by John Keane
Claus Offe is one of the leading social scientists working in Germany today, and his work, particularly on the welfare state, has been enormously influential both in Europe and the United States. Contradictions of the Welfare State is the first collection of Offe’s essays to appear in a single volume in English, and it contains a selection of his most important recent work on the breakdown of the post-war settlement.
The political writings in this book are primarily concerned with the origins of the present difficulties – what Offe calls the ‘crises of crisis management’ – of welfare capitalist states. He indicates why in the present period, these states are no longer capable of fully managing the socio-political problems and conflicts generated by late capitalist societies and discusses the viability of New Right, corporatist, and democratic socialist proposals for restructuring the welfare state.
The book also offers fresh and penetrating insights into a range of other subjects, including social movements, political parties, law, social policy, and labor markets. There is an interview with Claus Offe, prepared especially for this volume, and a substantial introductory chapter by John Keane which links the essays and explores Offe’s central themes.
Claus Offe has researched and lectured widely throughout Europe and North America and is Professor in the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Bielefeld. John Keane is an editor of Telos and Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Sociology at the Polytechnic of Central London. This book is included in the series, Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy.
From this book see also:
Reflections on the welfare state and the future of capitalism. An interview with Claus Offe, conducted by David Held and John Keane. London and Wassenaar, November-December 1982. The file is divided in two parts: part 1 for pages 252-275; part 2 for 276-299. For part 1 click here and to read part 2 click here
The cover of this book can also be seen here