Opinion & Analysis

The ‘ages of welfare’: why Europe’s welfare states are at risk of terminal decline, by L. Moreno

Has the financial crisis fundamentally weakened Europe’s welfare states? Luis Moreno assesses the development of welfare states in Europe in the post-war period. He writes that three distinct ‘ages’ of welfare can be identified: a ‘Golden Age’ which ended in the mid-1970s, a ‘Silver Age’ which ran from the 1970s until the financial crisis, and a ‘Bronze Age’ in the period after the crisis. He argues that in each ‘age’ the stability of welfare states has been challenged and action is now required to ensure the welfare states of the future continue to meet their obligations to citizens.