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In recent decades, Western nations have increasingly implemented encompassing welfare state reforms that try to establish equality through social programs and governmental intervention rather than direct redistribution of funds. In this book, Christoph Arndt examines the political ramifications of reforming deeply entrenched welfare states through a careful comparative analysis of four European countries that recalibrated their system of social protection under social democratic governments. Arndt discovers that the "third way" has produced a setback for social democrats and that the nature and scale of this setback is contingent on each country's electoral system.