The severe recession that is affecting the global economy highlights the vital role of unemployment benefits in providing large-scale social protection. How are unemployment benefit systems dealing with this challenge? Written by economists and sociologists, the book presents a broad view of the major adjustments that these systems have undergone over the past two decades in 14 EU countries, and also the USA and Canada.

 Significant disparities remain between different countries and different categories of working people, with regard to the quality of cover provided against the risk of unemployment. The changes confirm the contraction, in virtually all countries, of the scope of unemployment insurance in favour of welfare benefits that are contingent on activation.

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Table of contents

Philippe Pochet: A European approach to unemployment benefits?

Mechthild Veil: Germany - Employment policies, unemployment administration, placement of unemployed workers

Jean Faniel: Belgium - Unemployment insurance caught between pressure from Europe, regional controversy and fall-out from the crisis

Marie Wierink: The Netherlands - Long years of reform now tested by the recession

Christèle Meilland: Denmark - A stay of execution for the unemployment benefit system?

Annie Jolivet and Timothée Mantz: Sweden - Far-reaching reforms to the unemployment insurance system since 2007

Carole Tuchszirer: France - An unemployment insurance system ill-adapted to the economic crisis

Florence Lefresne: United Kingdom - The limited protection offered by unemployment benefit

Catherine Vincent: Spain - Attempting to adapt unemployment insurance to a flexible labour market

Nádia Simões and Helena Lopes: Portugal - Control and activation as major policy guidelines

Salvo Leonardi: Italy - The debate about 'social cushioning measures': how can a fragmented, inequitable system be improved?

Maria Karamessini: Greece - 'Activation' reforms in a residual and fragmented system of social protection against unemployment

Stéphane Portet and Karolina Sztandar-Sztanderska: Poland - Unemployment benefit: haunted by a lack of legitimacy

Béla Galgóczi: Hungary - A continuous shrinking of the unemployment benefit system

Katia Vladimirova: Bulgaria - Unemployment benefit: reforms, policies and security

Catherine Sauviat: The United States - The unemployment benefit system: a degree of minimal protection, for 'insiders' only

Mouna Viprey: Canada - From unemployment insurance to employment insurance: the disengagement of the state

Full text

Florence Lefresne: A comparative overview of unemployment benefit

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