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Welfare Provision in Two EU Countries : A Comparative Study of Integration-Oriented Welfare Provision in Germany and Sweden


  • Sanja Pfister

Summary, in English

Through different events and developments in the recent 30 years, the generally comprehensive understanding of welfare within the European Union has shifted and one of the aims of this thesis is to investigate if EU welfare states have converged or diverged regarding the provision of welfare. The theory on which the research was based is a typology of welfare states from 1990 by the Danish sociologist Gøsta Esping-Andersen. This theory is scrutinised in regard to whether it is still applicable in present day European contexts. One welfare-oriented topic has been chosen, which has become more prevalent in the last 30 years – being immigration to EU countries. Public reports, articles and webpages describing the integration work for immigrants of three welfare providing actors in two different countries constitute the main research material. Thus, the purpose of the thesis was firstly to investigate different approaches of the governments, of trade unions and of the main Churches of Germany and Sweden regarding the provision of welfare in the context of the integration of immigrants. Secondly, the paper investigated in what ways the 30 years old welfare model of Esping-Andersen should be modified in the light of those different approaches regarding the issue of the integration of immigrants. For the analysis a comparative methodology was used in order to give a comprehensive understanding of welfare mechanisms in different countries and through different providers. The key results are firstly that Germany and Sweden, representing two EU welfare states, have become more similar in regard to their welfare-related integration work for immigrants. Secondly, the results also indicated a modification of Esping-Andersen's welfare typology, in so far as to also include religious labels and structural foundations apart from political frames. Thirdly, this analysis also showed that Esping-Andersen's labels conservative, liberal and social democratic are not applicable to the same extent today compared to 30 years ago.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences


  • European Union
  • Provision of welfare
  • Immigration
  • Welfare model
  • Conservative
  • Liberal
  • Social democratic


  • Mattias Nowak