The Cradle and Grave of the Welfare State

Begin: Jun 28 '17, 7:30 pm | End: Jun 28 '17, 9:00 pm | Schloss Herrenhausen

This public lecture on June 28 in the context of the symposium "Workers of the World" deals with the condition of the welfare state in the past and future.

Homeless under a bridge (Photo: Marco Verch - Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

Homeless under a bridge (Photo: Marco Verch - Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

The symposium explores overarching trends in the political as well as corporate regulation and in the forms of collective organization of labor. In his lecture, Prof. em. Jan Breman, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, focuses on social welfare and its rise and fall. The social struggle which came about in industrializing and urbanizing Europe had as a prime objective, fought for by the up-and-coming trade union movement, better employment conditions culminating in a standard contract which conceded the right to collective action and representation.The social question in the Global North transpired from the realm of labor to one of citizenship climaxed in the emergence of the welfare state. Although branded as welfare capitalism, the cost of life-cycle security and protection was provided by public funding and not born by the private owners of capital. A century later the tide of progress appears to have turned in the opposite direction. The punitive welfare reforms practiced in the USA might become standard for dealing with out-of-work in the front-running economies. In much of the Global South such outcasts are denied commodity value. Neoliberalism has terminated public schemes for poor relief. Classified as undeserving, the un- and underemployed are subjected to pauperization. In the perception of mainstream society they constitute a resourceless and dangerous underclass. The verdict of blame, despise and threat in the upperclass mindset suggests the return of social Darwinism. It spells the demise of social welfarism in a world which under the aegis of unadulterated capitalism is flooded with surplus labor, cast off as redundant to demand.

Öffentlicher Abendvortrag in englischer Sprache
im Rahmen des Symposiums "Workers of the World"
The Cradle and Grave of the Welfare State
Prof. em. Jan Breman,
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research

Mittwoch, 28. Juni 2017, 19.30 Uhr
Schloss Herrenhausen, Hannover

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