The social face of the regulatory state

Reforming public services in Europe

By Sandra Eckert

The social face of the regulatory state

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9031-8
  • Pages: 248
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: July 2015
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Public administration, Politics, Public administration, Central / national / federal government policies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General, Society & social sciences / EU & European institutions


Capitalism in Europe is transformed as a result of liberalisation, privatisation and regulatory reform. Unravelling the state as service provider and employer has posed significant social policy challenges to the emerging regulatory state.

The book examines how these challenges have been addressed in different varieties of capitalism and across sectors. It compares change in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, takes stock of the reform movement in Europe and internationally, and discusses policy approaches in telecoms and electricity. It pays special attention to falling mail volumes as a driver of change and a new wave of privatisation triggered by the European sovereign debt crisis. The analysis reveals whether and how social policy goals have been addressed by means of regulation and redistribution. The book explains why liberal market economies have been postal reform latecomers and why the regulatory state benefits consumers, but is likely to leave employees' interests behind.


1. Introduction
2. Social welfare in the Regulatory State
3. Varieties of regulatory welfare regimes
4. Public service reforms and European capitalism
5. Delaying delivery: postal reform in France
6. Negotiating change: postal reform in Germany
7. Liberalising through the backdoor: postal reform in the UK
8. Postal reform in the European and international political economy
9. The political economy of postal reform and beyond


Sandra Eckert is Assistant Professor of Politics in the European Multilevel System at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

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