The Rebuilding of the Dutch Welfare State

(Ruud Koole) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 242-250

The debate about the rebuilding of the Dutch welfare state is in full spate. But the Dutch term verzorgingsstaat (‘nurturing state’), the unfortunate Dutch translation of the English term ‘welfare state’, is less and less appropriate for describing recent developments. Alternatives have been proposed, including ‘social investment state’, ‘activating guarantee state’, ‘participation society’, but there is currently no consensus on a new term. Yet there is no doubt that the Dutch welfare state is evolving in a more austere direction, comparable to that of other European welfare states, even though each of them is following its own, historically determined institutional path.

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