Social investment: a paradigm in search of a new economic model and political mobilisation

Nathalie Morel, Bruno Palier and Joakim Palme

in Towards A Social Investment Welfare State?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847429247
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305613 | DOI:
Social investment: a paradigm in search of a new economic model and political mobilisation

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This chapter concludes that, with few exceptions, European welfare states have not really implemented a social investment perspective. The Nordic countries come closest to embracing the social investment paradigm, while a few other countries (notably the Netherlands and the UK) have made partial moves in the social investment direction, but along quite different lines. Indeed, one can identify two main ways of implementing a social investment strategy: one that combines traditional social protection with social investment; and another which tends to substitute traditional compensatory spending with investments in human capital. However, the chapter argues, based on the conclusions of the different contributions to this edited volume, only comprehensive and well-designed social investment policies that emphasise and promote both equality and quality perform well. Finally, the chapter argues that in order to become a fully fledged new social policy paradigm, this perspective needs to distinguish more clearly its ideas from the previous neoliberal paradigm and to be associated to a new economic thinking (sustainable growth), as well as supported by new political coalitions (including current outsiders).

Keywords: social investment; productive social policy; social policy paradigm; human capital investments; skills; new economic model; political mobilization; capacitating public services; equality and quality; financial crisis

Chapter.  9548 words. 

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