Convergence from below? The reform of minimum income protection in France and the UK

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Through a systematic comparison of major reforms to minimum income benefits for people of working age in France and the UK, this paper assesses the scope for cross-national convergence in this growing sector of European welfare states. It shows that while differing institutional legacies have shaped the precise design of the new minimum income systems that have been put in place on each side of the Channel in recent years, there is also evidence of an increasingly common conceptualisation of the function of the last safety net and its articulation with the labour market, despite the two countries' still very different political economies. This suggests the potential across welfare states for convergence “from below” on broader understandings of the role of social security provisions in regulating economic life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International and Comparative Social Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • minimum income
  • France
  • UK
  • simplification
  • activation
  • Make Work Pay
  • convergence


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