Chapter

Which way for the European social model: minimum standards or social quality?

Alan Walker

in The changing face of welfare

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9781861345929
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861345929.003.0003
Which way for the European social model: minimum standards or social quality?

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This chapter catalogues briefly the key challenges to welfare in Europe. It assesses the current stage of development of social policy at the European level, which is characterised as convergence towards the minima – the lowest common social minimum. The chapter argues that what we understand by the European social model is in jeopardy and, while there are some positive aspects of European social policies that could be built on in a progressive way, Europe lacks the common vision necessary to create a social model which maximises inclusion. Finally, it summarizes the progress of the social-quality school of thought, which is attempting to create a normative and empirical rationale for a Europe that aims for quality citizenship rather than minimum standards.

Keywords: Europe; welfare; social policy; social inclusion; quality citizenship

Chapter.  7574 words.  Illustrated.

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