The Transformation of Solidarity
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 it perversely affects the structure of employment, family life and marriage. Diversity, flexibility and uncertainty are increasing in social relations but also at the level of ideas. Consequently, the life course is seen to be the result of the choices made by individuals throughout their lives and therefore the structure within the individual life weakens (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002). All these transformations are suggested to erode welfare state solidarity. Notions of individual choice, individual failure and individual responsibility become more important in people’s views about risks and the welfare state and therefore traditional welfare state solidarities are dissolving. It is this line of reasoning that is investigated in this book.
Romke van der Veen, Mara Yerkes, Peter Achterberg (Eds.)
Amsterdam University Press

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