We need a relational welfare state

Surian Soosay, CC BY 2.0

We need a ‘relational state’ to get a better (relational) social inclusion. The traditional welfare state was based on an outdated, transactional model that should be replaced by a new societal configuration characterized by being shared, associational and relational. We need a truly responsive societal organization that builds the capabilities of all relying upon a new framework that values and builds welfare on social relationships. A form of welfare that understands that a social issue stems from a factual configuration of the social relations between people and not in their individual resources; that loneliness makes you sick and eventually kills; that personal insecurity or poverty depends on the lack of a reliable social network surrounding you; that you need someone to stand by your side when you have grown up in a community that no longer remembers decent work and you are confronting all the problems of violence, depression and anxiety that go along with this.

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The measurement of the performance of nations and welfare regimes as a corrective for learning societies

Foto: /\ \/\/ /\, CC BY-SA 2.0

For the international comparison of the performance of societies I propose a system of continuous social observation, based on a discussion of moral values in social philosophy, which results in eight (partially conflicting) performance criteria to compare the “welfare of nations”: prosperity and growth; environmental sustainability ; innovation; social security by providing support in case of risk and precautionary through investments in education; equality of participation (universality); appreciation of particularities (women-friendliness and migrants-friendliness); social integration; autonomy (freedom of choice and capabilities). Continue reading