Claus Offe is one of the leading social scientists working in Germany today, and his work, particularly on the welfare state, has been enormously influential both in Europe and the United States. Contradictions of the Welfare State is the first collection of Offe's essays to appear in a single volume in English, and it contains a selection of his most important recent work on the breakdown of the post-war settlement.
The political writings in this book are primarily concerned with the origins of the present difficulties—what Offe calls the 'crises of crisis management'—of welfare capitalist states. He indicates why in the present period, these states are no longer capable of fully managing the socio-political problems and conflicts generated by late capitalist societies and discusses the viability of New Right, corporatist, and democratic socialist proposals for restructuring the welfare state.
The book also offers fresh and penetrating insights into a range of other subjects, including social movements, political parties, law, social policy, and labor markets. There is an interview with Claus Offe, prepared especially for this volume, and a substantial introductory chapter by John Keane which links the essays and explores Offe's central themes.
This book is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy.
About the Author
Claus Offe has researched and lectured widely throughout Europe and North America and is Professor in the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Bielefeld.
About the Editor
John Keane is an editor of Telos and Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Sociology at the Polytechnic of Central London.