Southern European welfare states are characterized by an unusual mixture of occupationalism and universalism. Income maintenance programs are occupationally fragmented and target generous benefits to labor market insiders. Health care, in contrast, is a universal service that is granted as a right of citizenship. My dissertation will look at two key features of southern European regimes to help explain the lack of convergence across welfare programs: the reconstruction of statesociety relations in the post-authoritarian period and the process of party system stabilization. The transitions to democracy across the region, by reordering the relationship between state and society, fundamentally transformed the dynamics of welfare politics. Parties, rather than corporatist interest groups, became the primary aggregators of social interests yet these parties lacked solid links with civil society. I argue that the divergent trajectory of health care and pension policies are rooted in these distinctive features of post-authoritarian politics.