Restructuring the Welfare State

Part of the series Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy pp 119-142

Origins of the 《Social State》 in German Philosophy and 《Staatswissenschaft》

  • Stefan Koslowski

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In Germany, the origins of the 《Social State》 can be traced back to three different intellectual traditions: the socialist ideal of a transparent rational community of workers is as fundamental to it as are conservative defensive strategies against the social revolution. Standing alongside these sources have been, from the very beginning, deeply-rooted ideas of the 《Caritas》 of “Christian personalism.” These superficially contradictory basic concepts came together for the first time in today’s welfare state, based on the German constitution: the modern-day welfare state presupposes the acceptance of state and society as two forms of organisation, autonomous in principle, for the political and economic co-ordination of the human community (H. Zacher).