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Social rights as we know them are in trouble

CINEFOGO researchers observe differences in the new patterns of social policies across Europe.

CINEFOGO researchers observe differences in the new patterns of social policies across Europe, and generally find, that the field of social policy is becoming an area for changes concerning social citizenship rights, but moreover citizenship at large. The researchers conclude that much about social citizenship has to be reinvented. Prof. Dr. Adalbert Evers and Prof. Dr. Ann-Marie Guillemard from the CINEFOGO Network of Excellence have identified which patterns of change exist within the European welfare states and their social policies. The key thesis put forward by the researchers, is that there are less unconditional social rights in the European welfare states. Instead social policy strategies activate citizens by offering them options to invest in their social status, and thereby the security-impact of social policy deceases, whereas the impact to activate and enable citizens increases. Social citizenships rights have for a significant period of time developed and built in many countries in Europe. The development has brought forward changes, which affect the countries economy and demography as well as culture and lifestyle. Many of these changes have an impact on the consciousness of rights and entitlements. Prof. Dr. Adalbert Evers and Prof. Dr. Ann-Marie Guillemard point out a key notion that deserves special awareness: “It is concerning both sides, public policy makers and the citizens themselves. Both have to cope with new risks, linked to different ways of working and living and to the rise of a knowledge-based society”. The researchers further argue that social policies today are debated more as investments and less than mere protective or consumptive measures, and with a greater focus on social investment, activation and flexicurity. The debate altogether touches upon the nature and status of social citizenship, and provide signs, that respective social rights as we know them are in trouble, as they today are less unconditional, more individualized, and oriented towards offering options to citizens taking action, and thereby less towards offering unconditional protection. Working paper and presentation are available to download from the CINEFOGO database: http://cinefogo.cuni.cz/index.php?&addSearch[addnetvork]=-1&addSearch[addoutcome]=-1&addSearch[addpolicyfield]=-1&addSearch[addlang]=-1&addSearch[addtarget]=-1&addSearch[addpolicytarget]=-1&w=50&srch=wp13&id_result=55663 Contact: Scientific Communication Officer Julia Miljevic E-mail juliamil@ruc.dk

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