Recently, there has been a surge in comparative social epidemiology, and a sizeable amount of this has examined the relation between different aspects of the welfare state and population health. Such research draws strongly, though usually implicitly, on welfare state theories and concepts. In this glossary, we explicitly define these concepts in order to enable more researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to engage with and contribute to this exciting and fruitful area of public health research.
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Competing interests: None.