In this article we evaluate two claims made in recent studies of the welfare states of advanced industrial societies: first, that welfare states have remained quite resilient in the face of demands for retrenchment; and second, that partisan politics have ceased to play a decisive role in their evolution. Addressing the first claim, we present analysis from a new data set on unemployment insurance and sickness benefit replacement rates for 18 countries for the years 1975–99. We find considerably more evidence of welfare retrenchment during the last two decades than do recent cross-national studies. Second, we examine the “end of partisanship” claim by estimating the effects of government partisanship on changes in income replacement rates in sickness and unemployment programs. Our results suggest that, contrary to claims that partisanship has little impact on welfare state commitments, traditional partisanship continues to have a considerable effect on welfare state entitlements in the era of retrenchment.