This text seeks to counter the somewhat unsubstantiated speculation about the impact of globalization upon welfare states. Combining both theoretical and empirical analysis it asks "What is globalization, and how has it been implicated in recent changes to European welfare states?" Covering all the major European welfare systems, it suggests new empirical and theoretical perspectives. Globalization processes exist, but their link with welfare change is complex, and varies both between countries and types of welfare state.
ROBERT SYKES is Principal Lecturer in Social Policy at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the British Social Policy Association and convenes its comparative social policy study group. - BRUNO PALIER is Charg? de Recherches at CNRS, in the Centre d'?tudes de la vie politique fran?aise (CEVIPOF), Paris. He is a member of the Management Committee of Cost A15, 'reforming the welfare system in Europe'. - PAULINE PRIOR is Lecturer in Social Policy at The Queen's University of Belfast. She has a background in practice and management within social services in Northern Ireland and she is the author of Gender and Mental Health (Palgrave 1999).