© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016. In this chapter, Fiona Dukelow and Mary Murphy sketch the landscape of research on welfare state change and set out some of the ways the impact of the economic crisis and the prospect structural change need to be informed by the lessons of previous research on how welfare states change and why. The chapter then proceeds to discuss a set of core structural drivers of welfare state change and their bearing on Irish welfare state change, including neo-liberalisation, internationalisation and the politics of welfare. The final section develops a framework for understanding and tracking the variety of ways structural change may be occurring, outlining four key questions: What is welfare for? Who delivers welfare? Who pays for welfare? Who receives welfare?