English title: Opportunity and Solidarity

Author(s): Peter Taylor-Gooby -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2011


Current restructuring of provision across European welfare states emphasises proactivity, individual responsibility and access to opportunities. Much established social protection rests on a more passive approach and seeks to provide security against the risks encountered during a normal life-course, together with some redistribution towards the poor. A more liberal individualism may suit a more globalised and post-industrial world in which the logic of markets is more powerful and the working class correspondingly weaker. From one perspective, it risks damaging the support for collective provision on which the welfare state rests. This paper uses data from the 2008 European Social Survey to examine whether the shift in responsibility for outcomes more towards individuals may threaten the political legitimacy of welfare states. It shows that a corresponding proactivity of government to secure good access to more equal opportunities for vulnerable groups is required to support individual proactivity in grasping opportunities.

Volume: 40

Issue: 3

From page no: 453

To page no: 470

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1017/S0047279410000681

Journal: Journal of Social Policy

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