Family and Childhood as a «State Concerns». Family Policies in France and Europe
Childhood and family were important issues in the 20th century for public authorities, with various connotations in each country. Yet it is difficult to precisely define the notion of family policy especially from the perspective of an international comparative analysis. Firstly this paper gives an overview of the obstacles to reach a definition of this area of public action. Secondly, it shows, from the French case, how a strategy of genealogical interpretation of family policy can bring about an understanding of the modalities through which national history participates in its progressive definition. Lastly, the role of the European debate in the structuring of these public policies will be discussed.
Family and Welfare in Spain
The article analyses recent developments in families and social policy-making in Spain. First, the impact that «superwomen» have had in underpinning Spanish welfare arrangements in the last decades is analysed. The latter type of mater familias, that has contributed decisively to the economic prosperity and stability of the country, is gradually vanishing. Rapid societal change has encouraged social policy-making in order to provide with new public benefits and services to support families. In subsequent sections of the article, public programmes and legislation carried out by PP (1996-2004) and Psoe (2004- ). Governments are reviewed contrasting the approaches taken by both main Spanish political parties in recent years. Concluding remarks underline the idea that what was considered to be a «women’s issue» can no longer be coped with «behind-closed-doors».
Family Policies and Equal Opportunities in Sweden
This article reviews Swedish family policy from a gender equality point of view. Family policies and gender equality policies in Sweden are not two separate entities, but are closely interwoven and constructed to mutually support each other. Swedish family policy comprises three parts: 1) child and family benefits, 2) parental insurance, and 3) high quality day-care, which are discussed in the paper. Back-ground information on the societal context of Swedish families is also provided. It is argued that gender-equal family policy in Sweden has been successful, both in promoting a gender-equal society, in keeping up the birth rate and in providing support for families and children.
Great Britain. The Reformist Strategy in Childhood Policies
In 2003, with the publication of the Green Paper on childhood, under the slogan «Every Child Matters», the British government announced the reform of the social assistance for children, young people and families. The policy is still at the initial stage of , implementation so it is not yet possible to assess its effects. In any case, the analysis of discourses constructed around it allows ascertaining the type of relationship created between value systems and policy mechanisms, beliefs behind the policies and hypothesised implementation tools. The arti-cle analyses, on the basis of documents available on the net, the intentions of the policy-makers responsible for the introduction of the new UK policy on childhood, focusing mainly on the conceptual and theoretical premises.