This important sequel to Nordic Social Policy (Routledge 1999) compares welfare state development over the last twenty years in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden with that of Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other Western European countries. Topics covered include: * income distribution, health inequalities and gender equality * gender policies, health and social care services and policy reaction to family changes * social security and employment policies * financing of welfare states. In the context of globalisation, ageing populations, changing employment patterns and rising inequalities, Nordic Welfare States in the European Context offers an empirical analysis of welfare adaptations and a lively discussion of the historical development of European social policy. It finds a greater ambiguity regarding variation and trends than is commonly suggested. Contrary to expectation, there is little evidence of the Europeanisation of Nordic welfare states, rather the reverse. The comparable and empirical data used in this study make it a unique contribution to understanding current trends in European social policy.