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Country Portrait Guidelines

The country portraits are of great value to anyone who wishes to gain a substantial overview of the socio-political and socio-economic situation in other countries, whether in terms of collegial interaction for researchers, student exchanges, professional and managerial staff, public social service providers and social enterprises.

The country portraits enable readers to understand the main features and current issues of welfare states. This requires a comparable empirical standard, and shall be achieved by introducing the economic situation of the respective country at the beginning of the article.

Please fill in the table below:

General data for XXX (name of the country)

Number of inhabitants


Gross Domestic Product


Gross Domestic Product per capita


Poverty rate


Unemployment rate


Social Expenditure


Social Expenditure per capita


Share of Social Expenditure on care


Share of Social Expenditure on old age, senior citizens


Share of Social Expenditure on social assistance


Share of Social Expenditure on youth welfare


Expenditure on Unemployment


Health Expenditure


The portraits of the countries go far beyond the scope of encyclopedic articles. We would like to encourage you explicitly to develop your own argumentation on the main challenges and issues of the country's welfare system based on your expertise.

The text should be structured as follows:

1. Context
2. Historical and Cultural Influences
3. The Welfare System
4. Current issues and Challenges

Reference List
Further Reading

The table below offers an overview of what we expect the chapters to include.

Please also see the document “Format, Structure, and References” for further information.

Country Portraits – Table of Content



The abstract follows an essay structure that gives an over-view of the content, but also defines the author's research focus: What will you discuss? What is your main focus of discussion? What are the central questions arising from the current issues in the respective country?

Explain briefly the structure of the rest of the text.

Please be short: 1.200 characters max. without spaces.



Overview of the socio-economic and political context at country level and, where appropriate, the supranational or international context.

Perhaps you want to integrate the data from the table titled General data into this section and elaborate on it further.


History and Cultural Influences

A brief historical outline that traces the development of the welfare state enables the reader to embed the modern welfare system in a national (and international?) historical context.

The recognition of cultural influences that have shaped the scope of welfare provision should further help to understand the principles on which the system was/is built. Perhaps your discussion could be structured around a timeline diagram (optional).


The Welfare System

The aim of this chapter is to gain an insight into the country's welfare system, its structure and its main features. This section should cover the main aspects of the welfare system. Please discuss different areas of welfare provision (at least health, education, employment and social security*) and summarise the main features in terms of funding, access, objectives, outcomes and challenges*.


It would also be helpful to include a social economy section on the main providers of social care: social insurance funds, social enterprises and NPOs, and to assess the relevance of each of these actors.


Current Issues and Challenges

Please discuss the most important current social policy or socio-economic issues and challenges. This should be the focus of the article. We encourage you strongly to focus on specific topics based on your own expertise.



Reference list and further reading

Please attach two separate bibliographies to your text. The first should include the references you use in your text, the second one should include sources you suggest for further reading.


In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.