The bulk of current research on the transformation of modern welfare states has focused on the issue of retrenchment and, in particular, on how cash-strapped governments have managed, or failed, to reduce the generosity of social programmes introduced during the post-war years. While this may be the most significant development going on in social policy, it is by no means the only one. Socio-economic change, usually described in terms of a shift from industrial to post-industrial economies and societies, has resulted in the emergence of new risk groups that clearly do not belong to the traditional clientele of the post-war welfare state and yet are experiencing major welfare losses. Over the past two decades or so, together with efforts aimed at containing the growth in social expenditure we have also seen the emergence of new policies catering for these social groups.