The Mediterranean welfare states between recalibration and change in the cultural paradigm
in Western capitalism in transition
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This chapter discusses the main features of the Mediterranean welfare-state syndrome. It deals with the new international landscape, which indicated an emerging differentiation in the policy outlook across the four southern European countries: Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The chapter also discusses whether the economic crisis accelerated or, on the contrary, slowed down this differentiation. The southern European economies have been hit by the financial crisis mainly through public indebtedness, although their levels of public debt differed at the onset of the crisis, as did their interplay with other factors. The chapter looks at the Italian case as being particularly exemplary of unresolved choices in the policy paradigm. The Italian case is exemplary for how neoliberalism and familialism may go hand in hand rather than being at odds, forming a cultural complex that may constrain a policy recalibration towards greater universalism.

Western capitalism in transition

Global processes, local challenges

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