Herbert Obinger is Professor of Comparative Public and Social Policy at the University of Bremen, directs the Unit on History and Institutions of the Centre for Social Policy Research (CeS) and directs two projects in the Collaborative Research Centre Transformations of the State (TranState). Some publications: with F.G. Castles, J. Lewis, S. Leibfried, and C. Pierson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press 2010); with S. Leibfried and F.G. Castles, ed., Federalism and the Welfare State. New World and European Experiences (Cambridge University Press 2005). Peter Starke is Research Fellow in Political Science at the Collaborative Research Center Transformations of the State (TranState) and at the Centre for Social Policy Research (CeS). At TranState he works on a comparative project on social policy in small open economies. He is the author of Radical Welfare State Retrenchment: A Comparative Analysis (Palgrave Macmillan 2008), a qualitative comparison of the politics of benefit cutbacks in Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. He also published several quantitative articles on welfare state convergence. Julia Moser is Project Manager of Human Resources Development at the Rationalisierungs- und Innovationszentrum der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V., RKW Kompetenzzentrum, Eschborn, Germany. She was a Research Fellow at the Collaborative Research Centre Transformations of the State (TranState) and is author of Der schweizerische Wohlfahrtsstaat: Zum Ausbau des sozialen Sicherungssystems 1975-2005 (Campus 2008), an in-depth qualitative analysis of welfare state transformation in Switzerland. Claudia Bogedan is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (WSI) of the Hans Boeckler Foundation in Dusseldorf (Germany) and a former research fellow at the Collaborative Research Centre Transformations of the State (TranState), where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on Danish welfare state reforms. Her research focuses on welfare state reforms in Bismarckian welfare states, labour market policies in Germany and the Nordic Model . She recently published an edited book with S. Bothfeld and W. Sesselmeier on the changes in German labour market policies since the 1970s (Arbeitsmarktpolitik in der sozialen Marktwirtschaft. Vom Arbeitsfoerderungsgesetz zum Sozialgesetzbuch II und III, VS Verlag 2009). Edith Gindulis is a Research Fellow in Political Science at the Collaborative Research Centre Transformations of the State (TranState). Her areas of expertise include abortion politics in OECD-countries and social policy in the German Democratic Republic. She is the author of a book on the politics of abortion rights, Der Kampf um die Abtreibung. Die Abtreibungsregime der OECD-Lander und ihre Bestimmungsfaktoren im Vergleich (Westdeutscher Verlag 2003). Stephan Leibfried is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Bremen, Director of the Collaborative Research Centre Transformations of the State and member of the Unit on History and Institutions of the Centre for Social Policy Research there. Some publications: with H. Obinger, F.G. Castles, J. Lewis, and C. Pierson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State (Oxford University Press 2010), with S. Mau, eds., Welfare States: Construction, Deconstruction, Reconstruction, 3 vols. (Edward Elgar 2008); with Achim Hurrelmann et al., eds., Transforming the Golden-Age Nation State (Palgrave Macmillan 2007); with Michael Zurn, eds., Transformations of the State? (Cambridge University Press 2005); with E Rieger, Limits to Globalization. Welfare States and the World Economy (Polity 2003); with L. Leisering, Time and Poverty in Western Welfare States (Cambridge University Press 1999).
The word restriction of this review does not allow sufficient appreciation of the four country studies. All four are excellent. They are rich in detail, historically informed, well structured and give an excellend overview of teh reform trajectories in the four investigated policy sectors... In sum, the book offers significant lessons on transformation of teh welfare state in small states. It is extremely valuable for teaching, having the potential to become a bible in welfare state courses for the next decade. The book is of interest no only because of the detailed country studies it contains but also because it shows how political factors matter. It makes clear why political science is indispensable in comparative welfare state research. Christine Trampusch, University of Cologne The quality of this book leaves little scope for criticism. It should deal a heavy blow both to those who still believe in the strong globalisation thesis and to those who idealise the onward march of free markets. Martin Rhodes, West European Politics