Since 2000, literature on West (EU15) and East-Central European (EU8) welfare states has focused on a set of ‘new social risks’ including insecure employment and income, population ageing, unsustainable social security systems, and large-scale international immigration. Our State-of-the-Art (SOTA) article brings Russia into the dialogue on ‘new social risks’. We show that broadly similar structural changes in industrial economies, labour markets and demographic patterns ended the post-World-War-Two (WWII) ‘Golden Age’ of welfare expansion in both the EU15 and communist states. Shared new social risks rose to the top of policy agendas. Governments responded mainly, though not exclusively, with liberalising, privatising and exclusionary policies. The SOTA compares their policy responses, specifically pension system reforms, demographic (pro-natalist and family) policies, and integration of immigrants. We find both convergence and divergence based on states’ differing welfare legacies. The conclusion considers path-departing ‘emergency Keynesian’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis, and renewed attention to Beveridge welfare models.