Welfare pluralism is often seen as a possible solution to the welfare crisis many western countries are experiencing. Alternative sources of welfare provisions have become attractive in systems once dominated by the state. The family, the company and voluntary organizations can provide services where the state has left a gap. There are, however, several grounds for scepticism about the benefits of welfare pluralism. There is sometimes a general fear of privatization of public commitments and concerns about quality and equal treatment of all citizens. This book serves a handy presentation of the problem and developments and offers a critical discussion of the concept and ideas of welfare pluralism. In a comprehensive comparative empirical analysis, the road to welfare pluralism is studied in three different kinds of western European welfare states – Sweden, Germany and Britain. From official documents and public statements made by centrally placed policy makers, we can see how welfare pluralism is motivated, supported and organized. With the obvious different experiences and policies of the three countries, the study still discerns some common patterns in the way Sweden, Germany and Britain cope with the challenges of the welfare state and of welfare pluralism.