The Relational Nordic Welfare State
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The Relational Nordic Welfare State

Between Utopia and Ideology

Edited by Sakari Hänninen, Kirsi-Marja Lehtelä and Paula Saikkonen

The success of the Nordic welfare state is well known, but the key drivers of its remarkable expansion are not. This book explores the relationships between citizens that constitute the normative groundwork of Nordic societies, arguing that the quality of relations steers welfare development.
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Chapter 7: A social constitution of Europe?

Kaarlo Tuori


Kaarlo Tuori discusses the idea of a multi-dimensional European constitution, where the political and juridical constitutions are complemented by sectoral ones, such as an economic constitution, and poses the question of whether the sectoral constitutions include a social constitution. The answer is affirmative, but with some important qualifications. These qualifications have implications for the concept of justice, which informs the European social constitution: instead of a solidaristic social justice, the European social constitution embodies access justice. The European social constitution does not replace national social constitutions (welfare states) but complements it. The main contributions of the European social constitution lie in fields that are on the fringes of the welfare state, legally speaking in what has been called regulative private law (for example consumer law). The European constitution also places constraints on national welfare states. However, these constraints derive from the European economic constitution, rather than the social constitution.

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