Written during an ongoing period of global economic crisis, The Welfare State as a Crisis Manager examines the practice and potential of using social policy to cope with crises. Through an in-depth analysis of social policy reactions in the wake of international economic shocks in four different welfare states, over a 40-year period, the book reveals the ways in which expansion and retrenchment are shaped by domestic politics and existing welfare state institutions. Moreover, the study addresses the kind of policy change triggered by economic crisis. In contrast to conventional wisdom and previous scholarship, reactions tend to be characterised by incrementalism and 'crisis routines' rather than fundamental deviations from earlier policy patterns. For the first time, the study of domestic political dynamics following crisis is systematically embedded in the transnational policy debate, linking the Comparative Welfare State literature with scholarship on Global Social Policy.