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The Schüssel Era in Austria

Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser

II. Policies and Policy Changes

Schüssel and the Welfare State

Max Preglau

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This essay offers an overview of the Wolfgang Schüssel years and their longer-term effects in the field of social policy. I start by charting the initial conditions of Schüssel’s reform project: the state of the Austrian welfare system established to overcome the “social challenge” in the period of “Fordist” capitalism already beyond its peak at the end of the 1990s; the current transformation of economy and society that seriously challenges the Austrian welfare system, the rise of “post-Fordist” network capitalism and the erosion of “normal” labor, “normal” family, and the culturally homogeneous nation; and the new restrictions and options for social policy resulting from this transformation. The second section turns to social policy under Wolfgang Schüssel’s chancellorship. The third section evaluates the impact of Schüssel’s reform of the welfare state, exploring if and in which sense his successor Alfred Gusenbauer is still following Schüssel’s course of social policy.

Initial Co...


© innsbruck university press, 2010

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