Origins of the French Welfare State: The Struggle for Social Reform in France, 1914-1947

Origins of the French Welfare State: The Struggle for Social Reform in France, 1914-1947

Hardback New Studies in European History

By (author) Paul V. Dutton, Series edited by Peter Baldwin, Series edited by Christopher Clark, Series edited by James B. Collins, Series edited by Lyndal Roper, Series edited by Mia Rodriguez-salgado

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 268 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 23mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 1 June 2002
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521813344
  • ISBN 13: 9780521813341
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 4 tables

Product description

This is the first comprehensive analysis of public and private welfare in France available in English, or French, which offers a deeply-researched explanation of how France's welfare state came to be and why the French are so attached to it. The author argues that France simultaneously pursued two different paths toward universal social protection. Family welfare embraced an industrial model in which class distinctions and employer control predominated. By contrast, protection against the risks of illness, disability, maternity, and old age followed a mutual aid model of welfare. The book examines a remarkably broad cast of actors that includes workers' unions, employers, mutual leaders, the parliamentary elite, haut fonctionnaires, doctors, pronatalists, women's organizations - both social Catholic and feminist - and diverse peasant organisations. It also traces foreign influences on French social reform, particularly from Germany's former territories in Alsace-Lorraine and Britain's Beveridge Plan.

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Author information

Paul Dutton is Assistant Professor of European History at Northern Arizona University. He completed his MA at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. He has worked as a research analyst for the Center for Research and Education on Strategy and Technology, a public policy institute in Washington DC. Professor Dutton has published articles in the Journal of Modern History, French History, and Global Affairs.

Review quote

'Although this is a book of finely crafted history, complete with ample archival sources and rich empirical detail, it will be of interest to a much larger readership than period or area scholars only. This is the case particularly because Dutton is interested in the associational origins of the welfare state, a topic that has generated a great deal of research of late.' Canadian Journal of Sociology Online '... refreshingly clear and concise account ...'. The Times Literary Supplement ' ... excellent study.' J. Colman

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; 1. An industrial model of family welfare; 2. A mutual model for social insurance; 3. Battle for control of social welfare: workers versus employers; 4. Challenges from city and countryside, 1930-1939; 5. Retrenchment and reform, 1939-1947; Bibliography; Index.