ABOUT THIS BOOK
Belgium and the Netherlands were perfect examples of the “welfare without work” policy that characterized European welfare states — until a political crisis in both countries during the early 1990s produced a surprising divergence in administration. While Belgium’s government announced major reforms, its social security policy remained relatively resilient. In the Netherlands, however, policymakers implemented unprecedented cutbacks as well as a major overhaul of the disability benefits program. The Crisis Imperative explains this difference as the result of crisis rhetoric—that is, the deliberate construction of a crisis as the imperative for change. It will be a valuable resource for policymakers, researchers, and anyone interested in welfare reform in the United States and abroad.