The problem approached in this book, in which gender-insensitive academic legal scholarship is questioned, is how the lack of recognition of gendered dimensions in maintenance and care in Swedish and European social security laws has social consequences for mothers who are not living with the person legally defined as the other parent of the child. Based on the understanding of feminist legal theory that the logic of separation keeps apart and makes invisible women’s life experiences in law, the concept of solo mothers is utilized analytically in three separate studies.These studies, including cross-national comparison of current social assistance regulations in four Nordic countries, examination of the meaning of a European social model, and deconstruction of social security regulations in the Swedish welfare model over time, serve the purpose of unmasking historical and context-dependent constructions of normality in social security law and the boundaries of social citizenship. European integration ought to exert normative pressure on national welfare regimes. Given the objective of combating social exclusion by means of measures termed as active inclusion and the notion of active citizenship in the EU, the author raises the question of whether or not the Swedish welfare model is in transition and contributes to alternative means of understanding gender inequality and social exclusion in contemporary Europe.
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