Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 871
Welfare State/Giddens: Giddens adopts important "points of criticism of the right" in the field of the welfare state, which is decisive for the theory and practice of social democracy: "The welfare state is undemocratic in principle, because it is based on a redistribution of resources from top to bottom. Its concern is protection and care, but it does not leave enough room for personal freedom. Some institutions of the welfare state are bureaucratic, alienating and inefficient; moreover, social benefits can partly do the opposite of what they are supposed to achieve.
The policy of the third way nevertheless sees these difficulties not as a trigger to dismantle the welfare state, but as an occasion to reshape it".(1)
Solution/Giddens: Overcoming the welfare state that subsequently repairs and distributes social services through a strategy of targeted "social investment" in human skills. This involves above all education, training, lifelong learning, retraining in the event of structural job losses and assistance in setting up smaller enterprises.
On the one hand, this reduces the tension between economic productivity and the welfare state, which in the old social democracy was always highly strained, both in terms of financing and the passivating consequences of a mere redistribution policy. On the other hand, citizens are "trained" for involvement in civil society, which both presupposes and in turn "trains" the self-responsible involvement of citizens.




1.Anthony Giddens, Der dritte Weg. Die Erneuerung der sozialen Demokratie, Frankfurt/M. 1999, p. 132.


Thomas Meyer, „Anthony Giddens, Der dritte Weg“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Giddens, Anthony
Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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