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The Welfare State Reader has established itself as a vital source of outstanding original research since its original appearance in 2000. In the third edition, Pierson, Castles and Naumann have comprehensively overhauled the content, bringing it wholly up to date with contemporary discussions about this most crucial area of social and political life. The book includes seventeen new selections, all reflecting the latest thinking and research in welfare state studies. These readings are organized around contemporary debates, such as the current trajectories of, constraints on and challenges to contemporary welfare regimes, as well as evolving ideas and emergent forms that constitute the future of welfare. In particular, new readings focus on issues such as ageing populations and low fertility, climate change and global financial uncertainty, and nascent 'politics of happiness'. As in previous editions, the volume begins with a collection of readings that provide a grounding in core approaches to welfare, and each section is set in context by a new editorial introduction. As well as bringing together classic debates, The Welfare State Reader represents an invaluable guide to what is happening at the cutting edge of welfare research, giving the reader an unrivalled overview of debates surrounding the welfare state.