A Fuzzy Picture: Social Citizenship in Postcorporatist Germany

Ingo Bode

in Social Policy and Citizenship

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199754045
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979455 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

A Fuzzy Picture: Social Citizenship in Postcorporatist Germany

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The chapter highlights changes in citizenship that combine the traditions of a corporatist past with new regulations stressing both individual choice and the duty of self-help. While the idea of social citizenship had been instilled implicitly in some sections of the Bismarckian welfare state (with its focus on the “worker-citizen” model spilling over to other social groups during the 20th century), there have been complex revisions more recently. Work-based rights have become less universal and people are more dependent on markets, with welfare reforms shifting responsibilities to the individual. Concomitantly, however, enhanced opportunities of choice have been awarded to the “consumer-citizen.” Hence, due to changes in both the political economy and civil society, the contemporary German welfare state exhibits institutional hybridity in the sense that liberal and Bismarckian elements are remixed, leading to a fuzzy culture of “social citizenship.”

Keywords: Germany; corporatism; marketization; welfare reform

Chapter.  10715 words. 

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