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 The traditional welfare state was based on an outdated, transactional model that should be replaced by a new societal configuration characterized by being shared, associational and relational.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.
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