How European Welfare States perpetuate the Growth Imperative - And why Alternatives are needed

Author

Summary, in English

In industrial circles, in political parties, and in newspapers, there is seldom one reiterating issue that concerns the general public more than the situation of a national economy, as well as how to secure or to undo the practice of it.
What is arguably one of the core principals of modern cultures, especially in European societies, not just being a nuclear unit in a bigger economy, but enacting and reenacting the social construct of a normative system a political state economy offers, is strangely overlooked by the majority. Perhaps it is the deep rootage of a welfare state in its economic and societal context that backs the unwillingness to question its practice, and thus there is little one can do to change the face of a welfare state fundamentally.
In contrast, this work commits to the belief that under the current predictions of environmental degradation and social insecurity, it is indispensable to start questioning the present lines of action in order to be able to adapt to the environmental and social challenges that are now approaching us. It will furthermore need an entire uplifting and reshuffling of the economic narrative to change the output of modern welfare states effectively. However, what it first takes is scrutinising the current system and the underlying thought mechanisms, and not least the ability to critically reflect on one’s own practices.
The study sets out to explore the cultural mechanisms that lie behind modern approaches to welfare, which are given by the predominantly European conceptions on economics, society and politics. As a theoretical framework, Braudel’s Annales school, European history and structuralism are used to explain the underlying thought mechanisms in European welfare state-making. Other points of interest rely on a discourse analysis of the European Green Deal that emphasises the work’s topicality, as well as backing the thesis that European welfare states are unable to adequately react to contemporary struggles such as climate change.

Topic

  • Languages and Literatures

Keywords

  • European welfare states
  • European thought paradigms
  • economic growth
  • climate emergency
  • European Green Deal
  • Euopean Studies

Supervisor

  • Sanimir Resic (Associate Professor)