European welfare states have a tradition of compensating for social risks. But across Europe, remarkable transformations may be observed that shift the focus from a needs/rights based compensatory approach towards a more individualistic 'social risk management' approach to welfare (see Schmid, 2006; Abrahamson, 2010). The basic idea of social risk management is that citizens have their own responsibility for preventing social risks. The 'new' welfare state mirrors this approach by adopting the role of equipping individual citizens for this task. The concept of the 'new welfare state' has been discussed under different labels, including 'positive welfare' (Giddens, 1998), 'enabling welfare' (Gilbert, 2002), 'new welfare' (Taylor-Gooby, 2008) and 'social investment state' (Engelen et al., 2007). Copyright