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Poverty and Welfare in Modern German History

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Volume 7

New German Historical Perspectives

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Poverty and Welfare in Modern German History

Edited by Lutz Raphael

264 pages, 7 figures, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-356-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2016)

ISBN  978-1-78920-515-2 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (December 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78533-357-6 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The volume has many merits…[It] offers a much-needed and—for contemporary discussion—highly relevant historical investigation into modern poverty and the way it has been framed. Further, the scholars of Poverty and Welfare State in Modern German History make an impressive case for exploring their subject through the paradigm of exclusion/inclusion… This book truly deserves a wide readership.” • Journal of Social History

“This is a wonderful collection; the essays are uniformly well written and thought provoking and, taken together, they present a provocative and sophisticated introduction to a crucial yet underexplored topic.” • German History

“This is an extremely well-executed volume, featuring state-of-the-art historical research from a list of first-rate historians. It is informed by both cultural and social history, and while the focus is on Germany, it has a comparative spirit, embedding the German case in a broader framework.” • Peter Starke, University of Southern Denmark


For many, the history of German social policy is defined primarily by that nation’s postwar emergence as a model of the European welfare state. As this comprehensive volume demonstrates, however, the question of how to care for the poor has had significant implications for German history throughout the modern era. Here, eight leading historians provide essential case studies and syntheses of current research into German welfare, from the Holy Roman Empire to the present day. Along the way, they trace the parallel historical dynamics that have continued to shape German society, including religious diversity, political exclusion and inclusion, and concepts of race and gender.

Lutz Raphael is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Trier. He has been a visiting professor at the EHESS, University of Paris VII-Denis Didérot, European Studies Center, St Antony’s College Oxford, and the London School of Economics. His recent books include Imperiale Gewalt und Mobilisierte Nation. Europa 1914-1945 (2011), Theorien und Experimente der Moderne. Europas Gesellschaften im 20. Jahrhundert (2012), and Nach dem Boom. Perspektiven der Zeitgeschichte seit 1970 (with Anselm Doering-Manteuffel, 2012).

Subject: General History
Area: Germany


List of Figures and Tables

Introduction: Poverty and Welfare in Modern German History: Recent Trends and New Perspectives in Current Research
Lutz Raphael

Chapter 1. The Economy of Love: Welfare and Poor Relief in Catholic Territories of the Holy Roman Empire (1500 to 1800)
Sebastian Schmidt

Chapter 2. German Pauper Letters and Petitions for Relief: New Perspectives on Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Poor Relief
Andreas Gestrich

Chapter 3. Vagabonds in the German Empire: Mobility, Unemployment, and the Transformation of Social Policies (1870-1914)
Beate Althammer

Chapter 4. The Welfare State and Poverty in the Weimar Republic
Wilfried Rudloff

Chapter 5. Welfare, Mobilization, and the Nazi Society
Nicole Kramer

Chapter 6. Who Cares?: Gender, Poverty and Welfare in West Germany
Christiane Kuller

Chapter 7. A “New Social Question”?: Politics, Social Sciences and the Rediscovery of Poverty in Post-Boom Western Germany
Winfried Süß

Chapter 8. The New Poverty: Trends and Debates in Contemporary Germany
Olaf Groh-Samberg

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