Governing Social Risks in Post-Crisis Europe

Governing Social Risks in Post-Crisis Europe

Colin Crouch

In this illuminating book Colin Crouch examines the diverse approaches presented by advanced societies in their attempts to resolve a central dilemma of a capitalist economy: the need to combine buoyant mass consumption with insecure workers, subject to, and responsive to, the fluctuations of an unregulated global economy. He demonstrates that the approaches of different national economies have varying degrees of success, and diverse implications for social inequality. Through the study of European societies, and comparisons with experience from the rest of the world, Crouch scrutinizes this diversity, and looks at how the 2008 global financial crisis has impacted it.

Chapter 5: Separating consumption from labour income

Colin Crouch

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy


We now move to considering ways in which the need for solidarity within the labour market might be reduced by shifting risk on to other areas of life: workers are here consumers, but they do not necessarily depend on their labour income for their consumption. Some of the available strategies redistribute the burden of solidarity; others resemble some of the elements considered in the previous chapter, reducing the need for solidarity at all. The basic data on which discussion in the chapter is based will be found in Appendix Tables A5.1–3, and presentation of statistical material within the chapter will be based on relative distributions around means as described in Chapter 2 and practised in Chapters 3 and 4.

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