Neil Gilbert argues that the changes in welfare policy we are witnessing in Europe and the US are not marginal adjustments to the borders of the welfare atate, but represent a fundamental shift or transformation in the design and philosophy of social protection. There has been, Gilbert argues, a turn away from the conventional welfare state emphasis on broad-based entitlements, passive income supports and publicly delivered benefits, toward a new enabling approach under which welfare allocations are more selective on the bases of income and behaviuor, activity realted, and privately delivered. In this book, Gilbert traces the shift to this enabling state, providing evidence of how the new system promotes work and economic inclusion over protection, and how it changes the nature of social cohesion, diluting the role of government and thickening the glue of cicil society.

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