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The social dimensions of climate change

Climate Change, Capitalism and Sustainable Wellbeing

Ian Gough

Chapter 1 summarises our best knowledge about the predicted future of global warming and its potentially catastrophic implications for human habitats and human wellbeing. The policy options are summarised, divided between programmes to mitigate climate change and to adapt to it. But climate policy alone could be unjust and inequitable. The goal must be to respect biophysical boundaries while at the same time pursuing sustainable wellbeing: that is, wellbeing for all current peoples as well as for future generations. This means paying attention to its distribution between peoples, and to issues of equity and social justice. Between an upper boundary set by biophysical limits and a lower boundary set by decent levels of wellbeing for all today lies a safe and just space for humanity. The chapter concludes by noting two global landmarks in 2015: the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement. Together they reveal a yawning gap between what is needed for a safe climate and the prospects for a just and flourishing society.

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Benoît Mayer and François Crépeau

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Nina Bernstein

In the chapter, a reporter for the New York Times who has written extensively about immigration detention policies in various countries assesses the limits that investigative journalism faces in spurring detention reforms. She argues that while journalism occupies a privileged place in a democracy because it helps hold government to account, in practice it operates at a far messier intersection between the politics of reform and the contingencies and conventions of even the most robust news operation. The author focuses her analysis on the relationship between investigative journalism and the early efforts of the Barack Obama administration to overhaul immigration detention by creating “a truly civil detention system.” Today, the US detention system is larger than ever, abuses remain endemic, the government has massively expanded its capacity to lock up mothers and children in “family residential centers,” and the new administration is threatening to ramp up already record numbers of deportations.

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Wim van Oorschot and Femke Roosma

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Edited by Anja R. Lahikainen, Tiina Mälkiä and Katja Repo

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Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn

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Anja Riitta Lahikainen, Tiina Mälkiä and Katja Repo

The introductory chapter outlines the contents of the volume. The first part of the book maps contemporary family life and child socialization by providing new methodological, theoretical and time-use reflections on media use and media-related child–parent interaction. In addition, it discusses conversation analysis as a method for depicting the complexity of family interaction. This first part utilizes time-use surveys as well as recent theoretical and methodological discussions. The second part of the book reaches into the private zone of family interaction, and provides the reader with detailed interactional analyses of everyday life with media devices. Detailed case studies of various forms of media-related family interaction contribute to understanding new forms of family time, and conflict situations.

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Foreword

Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness

Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, Bart Meuleman and Tim Reeskens

Open access

Three dimensions of generational justice

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

In the chapter the authors develop a justice-based argument for why it matters whether the generational welfare contract is balanced and provide equally comprehensive social protection against different age-related social risks. This establishes a normative starting point for the authors’ empirical investigations on how welfare states affect different age groups. Building on the prudential lifespan account of justice between age groups, one set of considerations focuses on how to facilitate stable intergenerational cooperation to enhance life prospects of all successive generations as they move through the different stages of life. A second source of arguments is the ideal of relational equality, bringing attention to inequalities between people in different life stages, especially with respect to goods that matter to their relative power and social status. Finally, a third layer of considerations is derived from justice between non-contemporaries and the requirements of just savings for future generations.

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Profiling the generational welfare contract

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

In this chapter the authors empirically investigate the generational structure of social citizenship in 18 OECD countries, using new comparative data on income replacement in social insurance directed at three different age-related social risks: childhood, working age and old age. For the period 1980–2010, they identify different types of generational welfare contracts and analyse how they are related to levels of income replacement. Greater balance in the generational structure of social citizenship seems to improve the overall comprehensiveness of the system as well as levels of income replacement in social insurance for each separate age-related social risk; thus supporting their hypothesis of positive-sum solutions in generational politics. While the authors find a general development towards greater balance in the generational structure of social citizenship, as levels of income replacement in social insurance over time have become more evenly distributed across age-related risks, cross-country differences remain substantial.