Welfare states in constant evolutionA critical new look at recent research
The comparative research carried out on welfare states has become a particularly wealthy source for research on social sciences. It has made it possible for a number of scientific issues to come together (theory on genders, economic sociology, theory on international comparisons, sociology of international relations, neo-institutionalist theory) which are elsewhere often separate. In addition, this research benefits from an enviable integration of its analyses within political and social debates on today’s world. The aim of this article is to present and analyse some of the most significant approaches of the contemporary period. Being unable to make an extensive analysis, the article concentrates on three debates : the analysis of the different forms of welfare states and a possible classification ; the link between globalization and evolution in social protection ; the new political configurations of action within welfare states. In this way the article clearly shows the contribution of this research to the building of a neo-institutionalist theory which is also evolving.