|dc.description.abstract||Concepts of social justice are at the very heart of the welfare state. From the perspective of the history
of institutions, the article reconstructs the principles of justice which underlie the architecture of the
social security systems in Great Britain and Germany and analyses how they have changed since 1945.
It turns out that in general both welfare states are based on mixtures of different concepts of justice.
Parallels can be found above all in the health care systems, which in both countries are based on a
combination of two principles – equality of access on the one side and treatment according to one’s
needs on the other side. There are more significant differences, in contrast, in regard to insuring
against unemployment and to pension systems, whereby the British welfare state entails a link
between the norms of equality and of neediness, whereas in Germany the principle of the equivalence
between contributions and benefits is deeply rooted. All path-dependencies notwithstanding, a
convergence in the institutional arrangements of both welfare states can be traced over the last
decades. In Britain as well as in Germany means-tested benefits and thus the principle of neediness
became increasingly important, most notably in the field of unemployment benefits. At the same time,
both welfare states experienced the rise of new concepts of justice starting from non-class groups like
families, women or generations.||en