Structural Changes and Subsidiarity in Italy and Britain
Edited by Alberto Brugnoli and Alessandro Colombo
Chapter 10: New frontiers of welfare state and new challenges for the third sector
Understood in its etymological meaning of ‘transition’, the current crisis of the ‘social state’ is in fact the crisis of one specific organizational form of the same, the Fordist model. It is not the demise of those values, which have underpinned the social state since its inception; neither is it a fiscal collapse, which is (when it occurs) a consequence, not a cause. Rather, the real crisis is found in the social state’s current failure to reconcile equity and liberty in a sustainable way. In advanced societies, citizens are unwilling to accept further restrictions to personal liberty in the name of higher social coverage of risk: and when the pursuit of social security is perceived to threaten the domain of freedom, the system is rendered inefficient. As pointed out by Giddens (1997), the transition of industrial societies from a Fordist to a post-Fordist model of social order fundamentally altered the nature of the risks addressed by the welfare state.
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