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Volume 10  Number 4  •  Spring 2006
Other Issues:  

Business and the Welfare State in France and Germany
By Nathalie Janson
This article appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of The Independent Review

In The Politics of Social Risk: Business and Welfare State Development (2003), Isabella Mares seeks to show that business interests played a major role in the design of social insurance in twentieth-century France and Germany. Although she avoids the false assumption of inherent class conflict, she errs in implying that because the business community promoted social policies in the past, it intended to promote (and should promote) welfare-state development as such, rather than to make the best of what business people may have regarded as a bad situation.