Values and Social Policy in Comparative Perspective
Edited by Wim van Oorschot, Michael Opiekla and Birgit Pfau-Effinger
Chapter 11: Unsettled Attachments: National Identity, Citizenship and Welfare
John Clarke and Janet Fink National identity and citizenship have become increasingly visible and contentious issues in recent years as established alignments of people, places and policies have become unsettled. In this chapter, we explore some of the ways in which a cultural analysis can illuminate these processes in relation to the politics and policies of welfare. We begin by discussing the problems and possibilities associated with foregrounding questions of culture. We then examine how questions of citizenship and national identity have been bound up with the formations of welfare, state and nation associated with the ‘golden age’ of the welfare state and nation state (Huber and Stephens, 2001; Leibfried and Zürn, 2005). The destabilization of these formations has made the relationship between national identity, citizenship and welfare appear more fragile and contested. We consider how contemporary processes – including new transnational ﬂows of people – have contributed to this unsettling. Finally, we consider whether such contemporary unsettling might make us rethink the assumed unity of people, places and policies in older formations of nation, state and welfare. In this we share Sharma and Gupta’s aspiration that ‘new insights might be gained from treating states as cultural artifacts while simultaneously framing them in transnational dynamics’ (2006: 5–6). THE (RE-)DISCOVERY OF CULTURE Culture has been a marginal or residual concept in the social sciences, particularly in those disciplines that have laid claim to analysing welfare states – economics, political science and social policy. A concern with the ‘hard’ analytics of structural...
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