M. Ferrera, Journal of European Social Policy October 2016 26: 374-383


Southern Europe and East Asia are two distinct groups of nations which share a number of striking family resemblances warranting a close investigation. Such resemblances form a relatively coherent set best captured through the concepts of familialism and familial welfare state. A cross-regional comparison of Italy, Japan, Spain and Korea leads to interesting results in both descriptive and explanatory terms, highlighting the role played by culture and religion as well as by the compressed modernization which characterized the four countries during the 20th century. The comparative exercise of this Special Issue offers a significant contribution to the wider field of welfare research. It reshuffles the cards of the traditional ‘world of welfare capitalism’ debate, shows the significance of region-level (as opposed to nation-level) variables and invites a specification of temporal arguments in institutional transformations.

The article is available here.

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