The dynamics of the European social model : an evolving polarisation?
Title: The dynamics of the European social model : an evolving polarisation?
Author: RODRÍGUEZ GONZÁLVEZ, Francisco
Citation: Serena ROMANO and Gabriella PUNZIANO (eds), The European social model adrift : Europe, social cohesion and the economic crisis, Farnham : Ashgate, 2015, pp. 17-42
Although the concept of social cohesion refers primarily to the conditions in which the society integrates its members, it is commonly accepted that social cohesion constitutes one of the pillars of the so-called European model, being the other component related to the need to promote economic competitiveness. This dichotomy suggests the existence of a dynamic model, a system of variations between two poles, a liberal or market side in permanent tension with a social or community aspect. This chapter argues that both the ESM and social cohesion are the result of long-term forces in constant evolution, which are more likely to react to a structural transformation rather than a circumstantial crisis. There is a perception that the ESM and its social cohesion basis, associated at the national level with the welfare State, are being questioned under the pressure of the different socio-economic crises since the 1970s. This chapter intends to consider a long-term evolution of the European model components in order to evaluate its variability potential under the current situation of crisis, and to consider how radical could be the change of the prevalent socio-economic paradigm.
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