The study of welfare states and social policy has enjoyed growing popularity in the last three decades. This field has been characterized by a growing level of theorization, richer case study analyses, inclusion of additional sources of welfare provision (non-profit, market-based, informal, family) and fields of study (globalization, gender, ethnicity, immigration, children), and increasingly complex, accurate and up-to-date cross-national comparative analyses.One of the subjects that have been the focus of much interest has been that of families, women and children their social well being and their legal and economic status in the welfare state. The common assumption is that there is a clear relationship and interaction between the structuring of the welfare state and the well-being and social status of these subs groups. Cross-national comparative analyses have shown that this interaction differs significantly from country to country, depending on the culture, religion as well as on its welfare regime. Scholars are engaged in diverse efforts to understand the differences between these policies in diverse welfare states, the reasons for these differences and their results. This volume deals with these issues from a unique welfare regime perspective. While over the last two decades research on welfare states has generally tended to assume that these nations can be divided into welfare regimes with common characteristics, there has been much ambivalence towards, and much less study of, the welfare states in the Mediterranean region. This volume focuses on these welfare states and makes the case for regarding the nations in this region as belonging to a common family of nations. It then seeks to compare policies towards children, families and gender in these nations.The volume will seek to further this research agenda by including an initial section that offers an overview of the Mediterranean welfarestates, and then discusses issues of children, families and gender in general. The second part of the book will offer detailed country studies of these issues, all authored by leading experts in the various countries.

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