Myths, Narratives and Welfare States: The Impact of Stories on Welfare State Development

Myths, Narratives and Welfare States: The Impact of Stories on Welfare State Development

by Bent Greve


Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on December 3, 2020


This unique book explores the question of whether different myths and narratives have an impact on the development of welfare states. After discussing the various definitions of ‘myths’ and ‘narratives’, Bent Greve disentangles their relationship with the welfare state, referring also to debates on welfare chauvinism, deservingness and retrenchment.

Greve discusses why some myths are particularly persistent and why some narratives may have a stronger impact than others. Incorporating ideas about how decision makers select and present information as well as how fake news can influence development, the book unravels narratives and perceptions about welfare scroungers, migrants and the misuse of the welfare system. Rejecting a number of long-standing myths about welfare states, Greve concludes that they have had a limited impact on welfare states’ spending and development as attitudes towards welfare have remained fairly stable over the past decade.

Taking a novel approach to understanding how welfare states operate and change, with a focus on European states, this book will be critical reading for academics and students of social policy and political science.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781839107917
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication date: 12/03/2020
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Bent Greve, Professor of Welfare State Analysis, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, Denmark

Table of Contents

Contents: Myths, narratives and welfare states: an introduction 2. Key concepts 3. Welfare states’ development 4. Understanding of the behaviour of the unemployed - stories of laziness 5. Migrants take our jobs and use and misuse the welfare system 6. Do people know the size of the benefits? 7. Pressure on services: the austerity and retrenchment debate 8. Understanding of equality and deservingness 9. Technological unemployment – it takes our jobs 10. Lowering of taxes will make everyone richer 11. It should pay to work 12. Conclusions – ways forward for the welfare states Index

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