'Crisis'. 'Breakdown'. 'Dismantlement.' Since the 1970's, these have become the catchphrases used to describe the condition of the welfare states in Europe, in academic and media analyses alike. This book provides an alternative, more optimistic interpretation. It aims to increase both theoretical understanding and empirical knowledge of recent welfare reforms in areas including Spain, Denmark, the UK, Germany and the EU as a whole. An essential resource for students, researchers and practitioners with an interest in the welfare state.