Changing Family Policies as a New Welfare Regime in Modern Germany


  • Anju Yamada Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo



Changing, Family, Policies, New Welfare Regime, Modern Germany


Developed countries have changed its traditional welfare regimes because of limited economy growth and aging society. In Germany, categorized as the conventional welfare regime, various welfare renovations including family policies have progressed to cut welfare costs. These family-policy reformations can be characterized from the following aspects; dual-income and individual-targeting provision. In 2006, under the Merkel coalition registration, the introduction of Elterngeld, family allowance to compensate income and stimulate fathers' participation in child care, could be recognized a symbol as a transition to the Social Democracy family policy. Previous research has already pointed out the tradition of the family-policy regime in Germany from the Christian Democracy regime to the Social Democracy regime. While it is hard to explain using existing theories which focus to characteristics of political parties, veto players, and half sovereign state, it is suggested to focus on the role of discourse from constructivist approach. However, the question still remained that why Elterngeld was introduced although the policy for expanding child-care facilities, which can also be categorized as a Social Democracy policy, was postponed. This research reexamined the welfare regime transition in Germany, focusing discourse in the house of representatives. Observing discourse in the parliament is effective to understand politicians’ vision what kind of family policies are desirable. By counting the specific discourse from 1994 to 2017 and scrutinizing the minutes around 2006, it turned out that politicians have an agreement that both mothers and fathers should adjust work life balance based on “family”, which can be defined as the difference between Elterngeld and the policy for expanding childcare facility. Therefore, current transition of the family policy from the Christian Democracy regime to the Social Democracy regime is limited and can be concluded that Germany is revising its traditional welfare policy regime.




How to Cite

Yamada, A. (2018). Changing Family Policies as a New Welfare Regime in Modern Germany. European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 3(1), 7–11.