European Social Citizenship: Why a New Social Contract (Probably) Will Not Happen

  • Bill Jordan


My title makes it clear that I am sceptical about the possibility of a ‘New Social Contract’ either within the states that make up the European Union, or in the EU as a whole. The idea of a ‘New Social Contract’ implies the emergence of social institutions that resolve collective action dilemmas by restraining wasteful competition or conflict, for the sake of mutual advantage. This could happen only through the emergence of new solidarities, based on the collective interests of members (of states and of the Union). But I shall argue that the tendency of welfare states to fragment into smaller, narrower mutualities, that has characterized social interactions in the past 20 years or more, will continue to be stronger than the impetus towards collectivization — especially in the social policy sphere.


Labour Market Collective Action Welfare State Social Contract Informal Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Jordan

There are no affiliations available

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