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Reframing Social Citizenship: Trust, Disquiet and Welfare State Reform

Taylor-Gooby, Peter (2008) Reframing Social Citizenship: Trust, Disquiet and Welfare State Reform. In: Richard Titmuss Lecture 2008. . Hebrew university, Jerusalem (KAR id:4727)

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Welfare states across Europe are undergoing far-reaching reforms in response to the pressures of globalisation at fiscal and commercial and cultural levels, the shift to a post-industrial labour market and changes in family patterns. Governments seek to ensure that welfare services contribute more to national competitiveness, operate in a more cost-efficient way and are more responsive to consumer demands. One important response is the expansion of policies that stress individual responsibility, greater use of the market and the private sector and new forms of management in social provision. These are based on an individual rational logic of agency.

This paper reviews trends in this direction and examines the UK as an important (and highly self-conscious) site of the development of such programmes, pursuing them with more enthusiasm than other established European welfare states. Work on rational individualism and social interaction indicates that the rational actor approach can sustain horizontal redistribution linked to a principle of reciprocity, but is much weaker in nourishing support for vertical redistribution, concerned to mitigate the social inclusion of those unable to make an equivalent return. It also damages institutional trust based on shared value-commitments. Evidence from attitude surveys, focus groups and individual interviews indicates that support for inclusive welfare and institutional trust are called into question by the new policies, although they may enhance the objective performance of welfare systems. Reforms on the UK model, undertaken for excellent reasons under difficult circumstances, run the risk of eroding welfare state citizenship and longer term electoral support for important aspects of the European welfare state.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Keynote)
Additional information: Annual lecture to social policy community in Israel. keynote to annual social policy conference
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2009 13:29 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Taylor-Gooby, Peter:
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