Lecture 2005: Towards a new welfare state?

The annual WRR-Lecture 2005 was conducted by Gosta Esping-Andersen, professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and Saskia Sassen, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

Change in the welfare state

The central topic of the lecture was the desirability and feasibility of change in the welfare state. Esping-Andersen discussed the composition and needs of the new post-industrial welfare state. He advocated a social investment state as the appropriate response to economic internationalization, changing family patterns and ageing societies. Sassen, however, questioned the capacities of the nation-state as an agent to pursue such an investment agenda. Can states really deliver in an era of economic and cultural internationalization and political liberization? A new welfare state may be desirable, but is change really still feasable?