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The Transformation of Solidarity

The Transformation of Solidarity: Changing Risks and the Future of the Welfare State

Romke van der Veen
Mara Yerkes
Peter Achterberg
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    The Transformation of Solidarity
    Book Description:

    This study investigates the consequences of processes of social individualisation and economic globalisation for welfare state solidarity. Solidarity is defined as the willingness to share risks. The institutions of the welfare state, such as social security or health care insurance, are founded on the willingness of citizens to share risks and organize solidarity between the young and the old, between the healthy and the sick, between the working and the unemployed. Processes of individualisation and globalisation affect these risks and in this study the authors investigate how and to what extent these changes influence the way risks are perceived by the public, what this means for the willingness to share risks and how this is translated in risk management strategies in firms, unions and administrative agencies. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1531-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 7-12)

    The extensive literature on risk, risk society and the welfare state suggests that fundamental transformations are taking place that affect the social solidarity (Taylor-Gooby 2004, 2011) and the class compromise (Baldwin 1990) on which the welfare state rests. Post-industrial society produces new social risks (Bonoli 2004) that are not covered or can even be aggrevated (Cantillon, Elchardus, Pestiau and Parijs 2003) by the traditional risk protection programmes of the welfare state. Modern risk society (Beck 1992) is characterised by a new logic of social production of risks in which the welfare state itself has become a producer of risks, because...

  4. 1 Risk and the Welfare State Risk, Risk Perception and Solidarity
    (pp. 13-30)
    Romke van der Veen

    The welfare state and its programmes of social insurance and social protection are intended to deal with the risks encountered in the typical life-course of a worker in an industrial economy: the risks of unemployment, disability and old age. However, processes of individualisation and globalisation that are part and parcel of a transformation towards a post-industrial society have revolutionised social and economic relations. The transformation towards a service-economy goes hand-in-hand with a change in cultural values in the direction of a so-called post-materialist culture. This implies a switch from materialist values, emphasising economic security, to post-materialist values emphasising autonomy and...

  5. 2 Contested Solidarity Risk Perception and the Changing Nature of Welfare State Solidarity
    (pp. 31-48)
    Romke van der Veen, Peter Achterberg and Judith Raven

    It is often argued that developments in Dutch public opinion are diametrically opposed to the direction in which Dutch welfare policy is changing. Research from the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau;SCP) demonstrates overwhelming welfare state support among the Dutch population and suggests that people more or less reject ongoing efforts to reform and retrench the Dutch welfare state (Becker 2005). Various authors have pointed to comparable circumstances abroad: high levels of welfare state support are accompanied by policies aimed at reform and retrenchment (Ringen 1987; Kaase and Newton 1995; Svallfors and Taylor-Gooby 1999).

    Allegedly high welfare...

  6. 3 Individualisation: A Double-edged Sword Does Individualisation Undermine Welfare State Support?
    (pp. 49-68)
    Peter Achterberg and Judith Raven

    In the literature pertaining to the legitimacy of the welfare state, it is often implied that there is, or should be, a crisis of the welfare state for many different reasons. One of the reasons most often mentioned is the process of individualisation (e.g. Giddens 1994; Inglehart 1997; Trommel and Van der Veen 1999). Yet, while most authors use the same term, the conceptualisation of individualisation differs widely, and with that the reasons for it causing an alleged decline in welfare state legitimacy. While the number of interpretations and conceptualisations of individualisation may be numerous, most explanations boil down to...

  7. 4 Labour Flexibility and Support for Social Security
    (pp. 69-90)
    Fabian Dekker

    In recent decades, certain labour market developments have occurred in most industrialised western countries, such as a growing labour market participation of women and a concentration of the workforce in service-oriented sectors. Against a background of rapid technological change and ongoing economic interdependence, the flexibilisation of labour markets has perhaps been one of the most fundamental changes to affect work and employment conditions in western economies (Kalleberg 2003; 2001; 2000). Likewise, flexibilisation of the labour market may have altered the risks people encounter, ultimately leading to an adaptation of social welfare services and provisions (Kemshall 2002). Views on the consequences...

  8. 5 Increasing Employability The Conditions for Success of an Investment Strategy
    (pp. 91-114)
    Hans Pruijt and Pascal Dérogée

    The risk of losing one’s capability to secure attractive employment, or to maintain sufficient ‘employability’, has gained more attention during the last decade. In the debate on the transformation of the welfare state the loss of the capability to secure employment is seen as one of the “new social risks” that result from the transition to a post-industrial society (Taylor-Gooby 2004). When it comes to managing this risk, it is now assumed, at least in the Netherlands, that enhanced employability is the new job security – in short: employacurity. Employability offers a means for risk management in the Dutch welfare state....

  9. 6 Corporatism and the Mediation of Social Risks The Interaction between Social Security and Collective Labour Agreements
    (pp. 115-138)
    Mara Yerkes and Kea Tijdens

    As we have seen in Chapter one, within the welfare state literature there has been increased attention for the discussion of social risks. This discussion often focuses on the difference between ‘old’ versus ‘new’ social risks (Bonoli 2005; Taylor-Gooby 2004). ‘Old’ social risks are risks associated with industrial society in which a main breadwinner was protected against sickness, old age and disability. These risks were often seen to lie outside the responsibility of the individual, hence some call them ‘external’ risks. ‘New’ social risks are risks such as care risks and insufficient education or training, and are often referred to...

  10. 7 Changing Labour Policies of Transnational Corporations The Decrease and Polarisation of Corporate Social Responsibility
    (pp. 139-164)
    Johan Heilbron and Sander Quak

    Because the role of large firms has been unduly neglected in many debates about the transformation of the welfare state, in this chapter we will explore the changes large corporations have gone through since the 1980s and assess some of the consequences these have had for the redefinition and redistribution of social risks. We will do so by considering the profound transformation in the way corporations managed their labour force during the last two decades of the twentieth century. The most simple and straightforward description of this transformation is that it has shifted from ‘personnel administration,’ carried out in primarily...

  11. 8 From Welfare to Workfare The Implementation of Workfare Policies
    (pp. 165-190)
    Peter Mascini, Menno Soentken and Romke van der Veen

    In the last few decades unemployment policy has shifted from income protection (through social security) to activation (through labour market policy) in most European countries. This shift from income protection towards activation and participation is part of a broader transition from a welfare state towards a workfare state. In contrast to a welfare state, a workfare state is oriented towards recommodifying rather than decommodifying social policies. Decommodifying social policies reduce people’s dependency on the labour market. Social insurance and social provisions provided as a social right have this effect: they make people less dependent on their market value and are...

  12. 9 Towards a New Welfare Settlement? The Transformation of Welfare State Solidarity
    (pp. 191-206)
    Romke van der Veen and Mara Yerkes

    In the introductory chapter we distinguished three social foundations of the welfare state. In the first place, there has to be an awareness of the social nature of risks. We defined social risks as risks that do not result from individual choice but as risks that are (also) produced by the social system of production. We discussed the risk of occupational disability in an industrial economy as an example of a social risk. In the second place, there has to be a willingness to share these social risks. Because social risks are, to some extent, risks that are produced by...

  13. Index of Names
    (pp. 207-212)
  14. Index of Subjects
    (pp. 213-214)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 215-217)