Across Europe and beyond, changing family living arrangements have stimulated popular and academic debate about the impact of socio-demographic trends on family well-being and the challenges they present for governments.
This path-breaking book explores the complex relationship between family change and public policy responses in the enlarged European Union.
After comparing the major socio-economic changes of the late 20th century in Europe and their impact on family and working life, the book analyses both the reactions of policy makers and users as they respond to change and the perceptions families have of public policy and its relative importance in their lives.
The book combines broad-brush scrutiny of demographic trends, policy contexts and debates in contemporary European societies with a fine-grain analysis of the attitudes, perceptions and experiences of families.
Five key questions are addressed: How are families changing in European societies?
What are the challenges raised for society by changing family structures?
How are policy makers and users responding to family change?
Does family policy matter? What can policy actors learn from experience in other countries?Family policy matters is aimed at students, teachers, researchers and practitioners in social policy and administration, family and women's studies, welfare, economics, sociology, law and politics, European area studies and European languages.
It will be of particular interest to those engaged in or about to undertake comparative policy studies.