The European social model under pressure: Introduction
The central theme of this book is the challenges facing the European Social Model, its political institutions and the democratic elements embedded in its structures. Ever since the 1990s, discussions about the future of continental welfare states, the democratic deficit of Europeanlevel institutions or the emergence of right-wing populism as a mass political phenomenon have incorporated an element of ‘crisis’. Over the years, the tone has become even more severe following the Great Recession and its widespread consequences, not only on economic and social policy, but also on policy-making in general. In the aftermath of the 2008/09 financial crisis and the Euro crisis that followed, many commentators questioned the European Social Model and its viability. However, ten years later, and with the benefit of hindsight, it is worth asking: Is the European way of social concertation indeed facing a crisis, or are such views exaggerated? And, in a broader perspective, do recent events, when accumulated, threaten the very foundation of European democracies and the European Union in particular, or are they rather likely to prompt answers and solutions leading to more democratic systems, better equipped to cope with internal and external challenges?
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The European Social Model under Pressure: Liber Amicorum in Honour of Klaus Armingeon