Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management

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Principle of Subsidiarity

  • Borna JalsenjakEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02006-4_113-2


The principle of subsidiarity is a socio-ethical and political concept which is based on the idea that decisions should be made on the lowest possible level of an organizational hierarchy. If the lowest organizational level is not in a position, or objectively cannot make a decision, the authority is transferred to the first higher level. Principle of subsidiarity can be looked at as sort of a defense mechanism against interference of higher-level authorities in matters concerning smaller communities, private concerns, and individuals.

Description of the Principle of Subsidiarity

The name of the principle of subsidiarity is derived from a Latin word subsidium, meaning help, relief, or reinforcement. This word was used for units in the Roman army who were tasked to give support to the central fighting units if the first line needed it (Thorne 2011). The principle of subsidiarity is a prominent principle of social ethics and is found in the Catholic social teaching and is...

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  1. Follesdal, A. (2013). The principle of subsidiarity as a constitutional principle in international law. Global Constitutionalism, 2, 37–62.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045381712000123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (2004). Compendium of the social doctrine of the church, Ch 4. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html#PRESENTATION/. Accessed 7 Feb 2019.
  4. Thorne, J. (2011). Battle, tactics, and the emergence of the limites in the west. In P. Erdkamp (Ed.), A companion to the Roman army (paperback ed., pp. 218–234). Oxford/Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Luxembourg School of BusinessLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Zagreb School of Economics and ManagementZagrebCroatia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ivana Mijatovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Quality Management and StandardizationUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Organizational SciencesBelgradeSerbia