Following the death of Franco, Spain underwent a transition to democracy in the mid-1970s. Although a rapid process of modernization occurred, the Spanish welfare state was seen, until fairly recently, as relatively underdeveloped. However, given the progressive Europeanization and expansion of Spanish social policy, questions arise as to whether the Spanish welfare system should still be considered as peripheral to West European welfare states.
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This volume is divided into three sections. The first section deals with broad trends in the evolution of the Spanish welfare state. To begin with, the consolidation path of social protection policies is explored. Attention is also paid to the process of Europeanization. Furthermore, the analysis explores advances in gender equality policies. In the second section, attention is turned to governance issues, such as collective bargaining, the interplay among levels of government, the welfare mix and public support for social policies. The third and final part of the book addresses five main challenges facing the Spanish welfare state in the 21st century, namely, the need to enhance flexicurity; to achieve a better work-family balance; to coordinate immigration policies with existing social protection; to tackle the persistence of high rates of relative poverty; and to face intense population ageing, both in terms of increasing needs for care and the reform of the pension system.