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 7: Drawing the threads together

Colin Crouch

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

Extract

We now need to bring together the conclusions of the three preceding chapters, to see if we can identify patterns of institutions and practices relevant to issues of labour market insecurity, examine change over time, and then relate the analysis to the central hypothesis proposed in Chapter 3, that ‘the more market governance is challenged by associational and state (government and law) governance, the more egalitarian a society will be, and the more widely distributed the chances of its members to enjoy some form or other of labour market security’. While some of the topics that we have been examining according to the scheme set out in Chapter 2 relate to more than one mode of governance, the following are concerned more or less unambiguously with only one, and are therefore suited to further analysis: Market ● Private social spending, from Chapter 5. This, and in particular private pensions, provide the main sustainable means used by middle-income people in market economies to provide insurance against market risk. ● Outstanding consumer credit, also from Chapter 5, enables people to use the market to sustain consumption despite risky labour market conditions, but in a non-sustainable way.

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