Search icone
Search and publish your papers

Conservative welfare states and the challenge of universal citizenship

Or download with : a doc exchange

About the author


About the document

Published date
documents in English
8 pages
0 times
Validated by
0 Comment
Rate this document
  1. Introduction.
  2. Universal citizenship as a moral and political demand.
    1. A legal status for all the people.
    2. Towards a status conditioned by the economic participation?
  3. The social consequence and the political challenge of universal citizenship.
    1. The vulnerability of people.
    2. The vulnerability of social cohesion and political identity.
    3. The challenge of a new social contract.
  4. The economic advantages and opportunities of the conservative welfare states.
    1. Economic policies as ideological and biased choices.
    2. The limitations of the Third Way.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. References.

When the newly unified Germany implemented in 1883 the first health insurance system, it paved the way for further moves towards extensive provision of public welfare for workers, but it also introduced a substantive change concerning the relationship between the state and the citizens. Basically the role of the state started to be understood and discussed in terms of social rights and citizenship. As pointed by Pierson (2004, 103), ?public welfare became a benefit of full citizenship?. If the industrial and capitalist countries developed throughout the 20th century different forms and schemes of welfare state (Esping-Andersen 1999; Pierson 2004), the success and the legitimacy of social welfare became increasingly important over time whatever the country and the scope of state intervention. Over the past thirty years many scholars and international organizations have however described the rising financial and demographic difficulties of welfare states (O'Connor 1973 and World Bank 2004 both in Pierson 2004).
Although Esping-Anderson (1999) only states in his typology the universality of the Social Democratic model, the social security systems of Conservative welfare states also rely on this principle: beyond the features of etatism, corporatism and familialism, each citizen has the right and the possibility to access social benefits. I will thus focus on the challenge that conservative welfare states such as France and Germany are facing concerning the universality of access to welfare security on the basis of social citizenship.

[...] My position, in this respect, is that the conservative welfare states shouldn't give up the principle of universal citizenship. Policy choices are more ideological than based on the current state of affairs, and whatever the circumstances, the political speeches of pragmatism and necessity often prevail on public debates. As regards the economic sustainability of conservative welfare states, other factors such as growth and employment have to be reckoned with (Boyer 2000, Pierson 2004). Basically the issue of social citizenship raises above all the question of a new social contract -whether the individuals are responsible for their situation and deserve it or whether the state has the duty through economic and political choices to ensure their security. [...]

[...] In this respect I truly believe that conservative welfare states have to find out their own way of adaptation within the continuously changing economic and political world order. References Andersen, Jenny (2005) ?Investment or cost? The Role of the Metaphor of Productive Social Policies in Welfare State Formation in Europe and the US 1850-2000. Paper to the World Congress in Historical Science. University of Upsala. Bottomore, Tom and T.H. Marshall (1992) Citizenship and Social Class. London: Pluto Press Boyer Robert (2002) there a welfare state crisis? [...]

[...] The social consequence and the political challenge of universal citizenship The vulnerability of people Basically the conception of workfare upholded by the New Right does not take into account the social reality of the people who can not get a job and earn their living. Beyond the rational calculations they can make, the individuals are also embedded in multi-dimensional circumstances that determine and shape their capability to succeed. As pointed by Heymerick (1999), the higher inactivity rates are concentrated among the low-skilled, the ethnic minorities and the long-term unemployed. [...]

Similar documents you may be interested in reading.

The origins and diversities of European welfare states

 Politics & international   |  Political science   |  Term papers   |  05/17/2009   |   .doc   |   9 pages

The new challenges of the Finnish welfare state after 1980's

 Politics & international   |  Political science   |  Presentation   |  09/29/2010   |   .doc   |   12 pages

Top sold for social sciences

Critically evaluating the ASPIRE model of social work

 Politics & international   |  Social sciences   |  Presentation   |  02/20/2009   |   .doc   |   7 pages

Cultural diversity

 Politics & international   |  Social sciences   |  Presentation   |  02/05/2009   |   .doc   |   5 pages