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History of the welfare state

Martin Ptáček


Objective and subjective reasons
Changes in the political spectrum after WWII
New European coalitions
The Welfarestate
Todays´ problems and challenges



Changes in political spectrum after WWII

Social Democrats
Christian DemocratsNew European coalitions

Left-winged cabinets without Communists in Western Europe.
Changing of Social Democrats´ programme in 50s.

Welfare state

The European answerto the American social-economic and political project.
The poverty of the immediate post-war period has been replaced
in much of Europe by a material well-being that rivalsand in some cases surpasses
that of the United States.

Welfare state II

Simply a state whose social market economy is highly controlled by government, and is based on ahigh grade of benefits for the maximal part of population. Its social economy polics is interested in the workers of industrial and agricalture sector – in the middle classpopulation.

Golden age of welfare

In 50s, 60s and early 70s. The large economical growth, high employment rate, growing European integration…

Problems and challengesOil crisis and crash of Bretton-woods.
Moving of a core of social-economic areas from industrial and agricalture to services.



Wilkinson, James;Stuart Hughes, H. (2004): Contemporary Europe: A history. Upper Saddle River:
Pearson Prentice Hall,

Wegs, J. Robert, Ladrech, Robert (2006): Europe since 1945: A concisehistory. Basingstoke: Palgrave,

Winders, James A. (2001): European culture since 1848: From modern to postmodern and beyond. New
York and Basingstoke: Palgrave,

Thank you…
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