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The associative economy insights beyond the welfare state and into post capitalism


THE ASSOCIATIVE ECONOMY


Also by Franco Archibugi
[in English]
ECONOMY AND ECOLOGY: Towards Sustainable Development
(editor with Peter Nijkamp)
THE ECOLOGICAL CITY AND THE CITY EFFECT: Essays on the
Planning Requirements of the Sustainable City
INTRODUCTION TO PLANOLOGY: A Metadisciplinary Convergence
of Planning Sciences
THE FUTURE OF URBAN QUALITY IN EUROPE: Toward a New
European Urban Systems Concept and Strategy
ROME: A New Urban Strategy

[in Italian]
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS IN THE EPOCH OF AUTOMATION
THE CITY-REGION IN ITALY: Cultural Premises and Programme
Hypothesis (editor)
INCOME POLICY AND ECONOMIC PLANNING: Criteria and

Models (editor with Francesco Forte)
PUBLIC CORPORATION AND ECONOMIC PLANNING (editor with
Siro Lombardini)
PRINCIPLES OF REGIONAL PLANNING: Vol. I, Methods and
Objectives; Vol. II, Programmes and Budgeting
ACCOUNTING FRAMEWORK FOR THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC
PLANNING
THE ART OF ASSOCIATION: Essay on a Trade-Union Perspective for
the Third Sector (with Mathias Koenig-Archibugi)


The Associative
Economy
Insights beyond the Welfare State
and into Post-Capitalism
Franco Archibugi
Professor in the Postgraduate School of Public Administration
Prime Minister’s Office
Rome, Italy


First published in Great Britain 2000 by

MACMILLAN PRESS LTD
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and London
Companies and representatives throughout the world
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN 978-1-349-41238-9
ISBN 978-0-230-59903-1 (eBook)
DOI 10.1057/9780230599031
First published in the United States of America 2000 by
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS, INC.,
Scholarly and Reference Division,
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ISBN 978-0-312-22380-9
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Archibugi, Franco.
The associative economy : insights beyond the welfare state and
into post-capitalism / Franco Archibugi.
p. cm.


Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-312-22380-9 (cloth : alk. paper)
1. Capitalism. 2. Welfare state. 3. Social change.
4. Production (Economic theory) I. Title.
HB501.A658 1999
330.1—dc21
99–32866
CIP
© Franco Archibugi 2000
Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 2000 978-0-333-75132-9
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This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and
sustained forest sources.
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Contents
List of Tables and Figures

xii

Preface

xiii

Acknowledgements

xvi

Chapter Sources

xvii

INTRODUCTION
1 From Social Protection to Social Integration: A Glance
at the Major Social Issues in the Advanced Countries
1 Social Protection and Social Integration
1.1 Social protection versus social integration?
1.2 The Welfare State and social integration
1.3 Social integration from industrial to post-industrial society
1.4 From the present shortcomings to a new type of
social integration
2 The Contextual Challenges
2.1 The relationship between the active and non-active
population: a mystification
2.2 The impact of the technological revolution
2.3 Poverty and marginalization
3 The Possible Perspective Issues
3.1 The de-institutionalization of social roles
3.2 De-scholarization and `permanent education'
3.3 Cutting down working time
3.4 Towards guaranteed income
4 Employment and Activities Planning or the Crisis of the
Welfare System
5 Summarizing the Transition Towards Social Integration
and Planning
6 Brief Scheme Indicating How the Subject Will Be
Treated, or Schedule of This Book

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PART I CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIAL CHANGE

23

2 Structural Change: A Reappraisal of the Various Approaches

25

1 What is Meant by `Structural Change' in the
Contemporary Economy?
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vi

Contents
2

The Technological Approach
2.1 The historians of technology
2.2 Technology: is it exogenous or endogenous to
economic progress?
3 The Economic Approach
3.1 The internal dynamic of economic progress
3.2 The Schumpeterian objection
3.3 The Rostow objections to the theories of economic
development
3.4 Sylos Labini's answers
3.5 Beyond the economics of technological change
4 The Historical-Institutional Approach
4.1 The Marxian approach
4.2 The Marxian ambiguities
4.3 The `managerialist' transformation
4.4 Persistent unilaterality of the `Marxist' explanation
5 The Sociological Approach
5.1 Does a sociological approach exist?
5.2 The political factor in Weberian tradition
5.3 The technological roots of planning rationality
5.4 Re-evaluation of the political factor

3 Structural Change: Towards a Convergence of Various
Approaches
1

Convergence
1.1 Convergence as the historical synthesis of change
1.2 A comprehensive vision of social transformation
2 The Crisis of Traditional Disciplinary Approaches
3 The Qualitative Change
3.1 The importance of qualitative change
3.2 Value, quality, evaluation and social choice
4 The Emergence of a Programmatic Approach to Change
4 The Change in the Structure of Consumption and the
`Tertiarization' Process
1

Growth and Industrialization as the Development of Mass
Production
1.1 The interaction between technologies and final
consumption
1.2 The first phase of industrialization: from non-mass
consumption to mass consumption
1.3 Industrialization, productivity, development,
redistribution

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Contents
2 The Most Recent Changes in the Structure of Final
Consumer Demand and in the Industrialization Model
3 The Historical Model of Mass Production and the
Policies Implied (Fordism and Keynesism)
3.1 Adaptation of mass production to mass consumption
3.2 The discount of future productivity
3.3 The negative conditions for a productivity
discount
3.4 The `margins' of productivity increase
4 The `Tetiarization' Process
4.1 The saturation of material goods and the growing
demand for immaterial goods
4.2 The need for the differentiation of consumption
4.3 `New' demand and development
4.4 `Over-industrialization'
4.5 Towards a new model of society
5 The Change in the Structure of Production
1 Visions of the Crisis in Industrial Production
1.1 Various ways of recording the crisis
1.2 The crisis as `dependency effect'
1.3 The industrial `diffusion'
1.4 The `theory' of industrial dualism
1.5 The crisis of mass production and the `re-emergence
of the craft paradigm'
1.6 Beyond industrial diffusion
1.7 The `decline' of global productivity
1.8 The explosion of the demand for public services
1.9 The development of the non-mercantile exchange
2 The Productive Dichotomy of the Economy
2.1 The increasing dichotomy between high-productivity
and low-productivity sectors
2.2 The employment and incomes features of structural
change
3 Changes Induced in the Concept of Development,
Welfare and Employment
3.1 The idea of a `steady state' economy
3.2 A different way of measuring welfare
3.3 A different way of conceiving and measuring
employment
3.4 Policy implications of the new way to conceive
employment

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viii

Contents

6 The Change in the Labour Market
1

The Basic Divergence Between the Traditional Labour
Supply and Demand
1.1 The demand for `quality-labour'
1.2 The personalization of labour and the new
entrepreneurship
2 The New Behaviour of Labour Supply
3 The Case of Unemployment: Persistence of Inadequate
Models of Interpretation
3.1 An optimal level of disaggregation in modelling
3.2 Past and future in modelling unemployment
3.3 Past and future in designing employment policies
4 Towards a New, Specific Labour-Market Policy

7 The Service Society versus the Industrial Society
1
2
3

4
5
6
7

The Substitution of Labour: A Constant Pattern of
the Industrial Society Model
Human Labour at Zero Productivity in the Service
Society Model
Economic Implications of the Change of Model
3.1 Performance indicators
3.2 The role of `investment'
3.3 Basic economic motivations
3.4 The motivation and role of saving
Employment Typology
`Industrial Relations' Typology
The Role of the State
The Emergence of a `Third' Sector

8 The Process of Redistribution in the Two Models of Society
1

The Redistribution of Labour and Income
1.1 The continuous dislocation of labour in industrial
society
1.2 A misunderstanding about the usefulness of
`non-productivistic' sectors
1.3 The weight of the two sectors and differential characteristics of the distributive process in the two models
1.4 The characteristics of the redistributive process in the
evolution of the industrial society model
1.5 The role of inflation in the redistributive process in
the industrial society model

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Contents
1.6 The role of inflation in the redistributive process in
the service society model
1.7 Models of society and theories of capital
2 Differential Characteristics of the Distributive Processes
in the Two Models of Society
2.1 Further analysis of the transitional relationship of
productivity±prices from the industrial society to
the service society model
2.2 Factors and circumstances which may limit the
inflationary effect of productivity in the industrial
society model
2.3 Inflation and `unemployment-by-productivity'
9 The Expansion and Decline of Public Services
1 An Evolution in the Role and Concept of Public Services
2 The Meaning and Effects of the Expansion of Public
Services
3 The Crisis Factors of the Public Sectors and Services
3.1 The financial limits of the state
3.2 Lack of efficiency, effectiveness and performance
measure
3.3 Disaffection and dislike
4 Concluding Remarks: Towards a Reform of the Welfare
State

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PART II CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE MANAGEMENT
PROBLEMS OF THE CHANGE

175

10 Beyond the Welfare State

177

1 `Welfare State' and `Welfare Society'
1.1 A `logical' analysis of the Welfare State
1.2 On equilibrium, disequilibrium, `market' and the
organizational society
2 Managing the `Crisis' of the Welfare State
3 The Appropriate Reorganization of the Welfare State:
Societal Planning
11 Beyond Capitalism?
1 Social Democracy, the Political Left in General, and
Planning
2 `Alternatives' to Capitalism? A False Problem

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x

Contents
3 Planning as an Essential Condition for the Passage to
a `Welfare Society'
3.1 On the so-called `failures' of planning
3.2 The fundamental `operations' of planning: income
and labour mobility planning
3.3 The plan as a decision framework of reference
and as a process
4 Social Bargaining, or Negotiation, as a Premise for
Planning Efficiency
4.1 The traditional planning operators
4.2 The motivations of the social operators
5 The Crisis of `Entrepreneurship'
5.1 The crisis of entrepreneurship as a motivational
crisis of the operators
5.2 A new type of entrepreneurship: `the Private Collective'
6 Towards the Institutionalization of the `Independent' Sector
6.1 The relationship between the operational sectors
6.2 The `third sector' and the general economic system
6.3 The `third sector' and the welfare society

12 A New Social Model: The Associative Economy
1 The
1.1
1.2
1.3
2 The
2.1

Emerging Forms of the Third Sector
The third sector in the USA
The third sector in Europe
A comparative vision of the third sector
Expansion of the Third Sector
Current statistics: employment, expenditure, activity
fields, financing
2.2 The substitution effect
3 Some Interpretations of the Third Sector
3.1 State failure theories
3.2 Market failure theories
3.3 Non-profit economy and ideology
3.4 `Third party government' hypothesis
3.5 `Functional dilettantism' hypothesis
4 A Structural Approach: The Third Sector in the
Post-Industrial Economy
5 Further Guidelines for the Third Sector
5.1 The need for a better operational definition of the
third sector
5.2 For a new institutional regulation of the associative
economy

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Contents
6 The Financing of the Associative Sector
6.1 Possible forms of public financing of the
associative sector
6.2 New forms of `private' and at the same time
`collective' financing of the associative sector and
its statistical recording
6.3 Trade-union funds for investment
7 The Role of the Trade Unions in the Management of
the Labour Market and of the New Forms of Production
and Employment
8 Promotion of the Associative Sector in the Framework
of a Comprehensive Plan of Development
13 New Policies and Instruments
1 New Tasks for the Public Sector
2 The Financial Limits of the State
2.1 General alternatives to public intervention
2.2 New criteria for managing public intervention
3 The Future of Strategic Planning
3.1 The new `regulatory' role of the public sector
3.2 Central planning and direct intervention
3.3 Articulated or `systemic' planning
4 Planning-Oriented Collective Bargaining
5 Planning-Oriented Social Accounting
6 Planning and the New Unionism
7 Planning and the Organized Consumer Movement
8 The `Democratic' Meaning of Strategic Planning

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Notes and References

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Bibliography

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Author Index

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Subject Index

363


List of Tables and Figures
Tables
3.1 Comparison among the major characteristics of the
pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial society
9.1 General government total outlays
9.2 General government current receipts
9.3 Compensation of general government employees
9.4 General government employment
12.1 United States: substitution effect in the employment
structure from 1977 to 1990
12.2 West Germany: substitution effect in the employment
structure from 1960 to 1990

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Figure
13.1 Resource allocation models

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xii


Preface
Gunnar Myrdal back in 1960 published (following a series of lectures held at
Yale University in 1958) a `little book', which he entitled Beyond the Welfare
State: Economic Planning in the Welfare States and its International Implications.1
Almost forty years separate us from this work, and yet I feel I can still
recommend its reading, because of its continuing topicality. In it, to be brief,
the `crisis' of the Welfare State was predicted in `rich and progressive Western
countries', unless the development of these countries was accompanied by
the development of economic planning methods and integrated on an international scale.
This fundamental contribution by Myrdal has been almost ignored in the
course of the wider debate which has taken place (in particular in the last
two decades) on the `crisis' and `future' of the Welfare State.2
This book does not intend to be other than a revisitation of the basic thesis
of Myrdal, in the light of the further present development of the rich and
progressive Western societies, and of the advancing crisis of the Welfare
State. It is my opinion that the current debate on the crisis and future of
the Welfare State and the possibilities of `resolving' this crisis does not grasp
any of the essential aspects of the changes which have intervened in the
economy and in the structure of Western societies, and that this debate has
not produced yet a clear vision (of Myrdal's type) of the appropriate routes
which would need to be followed by governments of all types ± whether left
or right wing ± in order to face the real needs for adaptation to the changes
in fieri: starting from the introduction of techniques and procedures of
decision-making at the various levels of political and public responsibility.
These techniques and procedures I and others continue to call ± as did
Myrdal in his time ± economic and social planning.3
The current debate, on the other hand, although not devoid of interesting
aspects here and there, seems instead obsessively paralyzed with various
arguments and versions, by the vexata quaestio of the limits and failures,
either of the `market' or of the `state', or of the non-market or non-state, i.e.,
a continued rigmarole in favour of or against public intervention, and how
`mixed' the private and public economy should be. And this occurs without
taking into consideration the substantial or `real' objectives to be achieved;
and how they should be achieved and through which suitable instruments
and inevitable alternative choices (called `Public Policies') by public decisionmakers or institutions.
Myrdal's basic thesis, therefore, pervades the whole development of this
book.
xiii


xiv

Preface

The arguments developed here are based on a report4 prepared for the
European Commission, in the framework of a task force of the European
University Institute at Florence, coordinated by Stuart Holland, and commissioned by Jacques Delors, suggesting ways of applying the objectives of the
Union for `the strengthening of social and economic cohesion in the Union
itself'. But the more distant basis for the arguments is found in Myrdal's
approach, and in its continuing perfected application ± on my part ± in a series
of circumstances in which the analysis starts from different points of view.5
Thus, as a first point of view, the crisis of the Welfare State is seen as a crisis of
social integration; for even though its intention was to accomplish just such a
social integration, on the contrary, the various forms of social protection seem
paradoxically to `segregate' even more the `protected categories' of the elderly,
women, the young, the unemployed, the new immigrants, rather than integrate
them socially. From this has arisen ± in the first introductory chapter ± a first
brief examination of the fields of intervention aimed at their integration.
A second point of view is that the Welfare State is in crisis because of the
structural changes in the capitalist economy during the second half of this
century, founded essentially on the basic changes in the final demand of the
citizens. It is from this point of view that the analysis of these changes begin.
Thus, closely linked to the previous point of view (of which it constitutes a
corollary), a view of a Welfare State highly dependent on changes in production structures and in the labour market, which are determined by the advent of
a `tertiary' or `service' society (or whatever name it may be given), is developed.
Such an analysis cannot help but lead to the feasible and tendentious
routes for the rational correction of the past errors of the Welfare State by:
± the recommendation of general strategies aimed at overcoming, in particular, the role and significance of economic planning;
± the design of a new employment and production model, which I have
called the `associative economy', but which has had many other designations (`third sector', `social economy', `independent' sector, `non-profit'
sector, the `non-mercantile' private sector, etc.);
± finally the discussion of the set of measures of economic policy and
involvement of the social partners (trade unions, employers, consumer
associations, profit and non-profit organizations) through collective bargaining, in designing the new employment and production model, and
societal model.
In this book I have moved, along Myrdal's lines, towards the conviction
and realization that the Welfare State cannot have any autonomous future if
separated from the planning process that is indispensable to its rational
management, and unless it is accompanied by a process of domestic and
international social integration. From these objective conditions of the


Preface

xv

Welfare State, we have so far had, in this second half of the century, only very
poor results.
Nobody would dare to deny that the successes obtained by the Welfare
States are remarkable: but it would be a big mistake to ignore the disorder,
incongruence, and latent risks which would still exist in advanced industrial
societies if they are not able to `socialize' their successes, take steps towards a
reduction of poverty, and a redistribution of employment and income opportunities, not only within each society, but in relation to the growth of the entire
population of the world, with a shortening of the distances and a substantial
economic integration on a planetary scale. Exactly as Myrdal indicated forty
years ago.
With this book I hope to give an updated contribution to the reading of
the situation, inspired by Myrdal's approach, to analyze some action proposals from those in government, trade unions and politics. The reflections
which it contains ± inspired by the three points of view evoked above ± hinge
on three essential points:
± On what conditions and in which forms can we pass from the model of
`social protection' to that of better `social integration' (while moving from
the Welfare State to a Welfare Society)? (Introductory chapter)
± What are the factors of structural change that strongly condition the ways
of the transition to the Welfare Society (while moving from a `capitalist'
to a `post-capitalist' or `associative' economy)? (Part I)
± What are the institutional characteristics to be assumed by this Welfare
Society, in order to be managed with greater information and planned
control of its development? (Part II)
On the other hand, I have neglected deliberately in this book (as being
outside its essential scope) the more technical and operational issues concerning socio-economic planning. In spite of that, it is evoked here many
times (especially in Part II) as an indispensable tool for managing a better
social integration and generally for a better societal governance.
These specific and technical issues concerning socio-economic and territorial planning ± the field where I spent most of my time as scholar and
teacher ± have also been the subject of several other works of mine, already
published or forthcoming.6
FRA N C O ARC H I B U G I


Acknowledgements
The debts accumulated towards institutions, colleagues and friends in the
preparation of this work are many.
Since the book represents an outcome of many years of intellectual appli
cation to the subject and numerous essays published on many occasions, I am
grateful to the following commissioning institutions for allowing me to revive
the contents of such essays: the OECD for the essays on structural change
and employment growth, and the European Commission for the use of
passages from two Reports prepared for it: the first on the strengthening of
social cohesion in Europe; the second (in cooperation with Mathias KoenigArchibugi) on perspective on the relationship between the Third Sector
Emergency and Trade Unions.
For some of the analysis in the book I have used the findings of several
research projects by the Planning Studies Centre (the research centre that I
have directed since 1963), projects funded by the (Italian) National Research
Council.
Among the people who have helped me with the English edition of this
text, I should mention those who assisted me with a difficult translation: Neil
Campbell, Andrew and Virginia Krumholz, Leslie Emslie, Douglas Ewert,
and, lastly, Keith Povey, the copy-editor. I am not at all sure that the English
reader will find the translation comfortable, as it is a result of a difficult
trade-off between good English expression and my way of reasoning. Thus, I
am extremely grateful to those who have helped me in this translation.
In a final revision of the text, the comments of Mathias Koenig-Archibugi,
my son, and of Giorgio Ruffolo, a friend, have been particularly useful and
welcomed. To the former, I am also in debt for his contribution in the
drafting of Chapter 12, which was drawn, as stated above, from a report to
the European Commission. To Giorgio Ruffolo, I am in debt for steady
attention and a continuous, involving dialogue, over many years, on the
subject-matter of this book. It is appropriate, therefore, that I dedicate to
him this work, as a testimonial to that concordia discors which was bound us
for a good deal of our past.
How not to mention ± lastly ± the person with whom I have implemented,
on a personal level, that `associative life' which has allowed me to achieve
most of my research and study activities? Her name is Fulvia.
FRA N C O ARC H I B U G

xvi

-

I


Chapter Sources
This work is a summary and reorganization of some decades of reflection on
contemporary industrial society and its development. In this effort of reorganization, I have utilized again materials that have already appeared in
several conference contributions, reports, and papers, both unpublished
and published, most of which are in episodic form and difficult to find.
I owe to the reader a list of these papers and publications, with reference
to the chapters of this book.
1. Chapter 1 contains ideas and arguments presented in a contribution to a
Seminar of the Italian Gerontological Society (Florence, 10±12 October
1975), published in the Italian review Economia e Lavoro (January±
March 1976) under the title `The Social Integration of Marginalized
People between Past and Future' (Archibugi, 1976). The bibliographical
references are updated, but I do not find obsolete the core of the
question posed, to such an extent that put it introduces the whole work
presented here.
2. Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5 present, in a strongly revised form, ideas that get
their initial form in a report I wrote in December 1982 as Consultant to
OECD (which was preparing an Inter-Governmental Conference on the
topic `Structural Change and Employment Development', then considered `pivotal' and which remained so to the present day). This report was
titled `Structural Change in the Production Process: Its Implication for
the Labour Policies', and remained unpublished (it circulated inside the
OECD).
3. Chapters 6, 7, 8 develop further my contribution to the OECD Conference just mentioned, as finally it took place two years later. The
contribution was titled `The Possibilities for Employment Creation in
the Third Sector', and was published by OECD in an abridged version in
Structural Change and Employment Growth (OECD, Paris, 1985).
4. Chapters 9, 10, 11 re-elaborate texts already included in a document
prepared on request for a `Programmatic Conference' of the Italian
Socialist Party (Rimini, 31 March±4 April 1982), in the Report to the
just mentioned OECD Conference, and in an article published in the
review of the Italian Trade Union Confederation CGIL, Rassegna sindacale, no. 113, March±April 1985.
5. Chapter 12 is also an expansion of the arguments presented in the
mentioned OECD Conference. The material was partially used in a
Report, written with the collaboration of Mathias Koenig-Archibugi,
xvii


xviii

Chapter Sources

committed by the European Commission (Industrial Relations and the
Social Economy: Forms and Methods of Negotiated De-statalization of the
Social Welfare Systems in the European Union, Brussels 1995), as well as
in a contribution ± again with M. Koenig-Archibugi ± to a Seminar
(Brussels, 5±6 December 1996) organized by the Members of the European Parliament belonging to the `Ulivo' coalition. The contribution's
title was `Third System and Post-Capitalist Society'.
6. Chapter 13 is the re-elaboration of a contribution, titled `Ends and
Means: New Policy Instruments for Social Development', presented to
an international conference of the `Forum for International Political and
Social Economy' held in Paris (4±6 November 1982), and published in
Out of Crisis: A Prospect for European Recovery, edited by Stuart Holland
(Nottingham: Spokesman, 1983). There I summarize, in a more schematic and operative form, the conclusions of the analyses presented in
my writings cited so far. Part of the material of Chapters 9, 10, and 12
was already presented in a paper (`Beyond the Welfare State: Planning
for a Welfare Society') for a seminar of Roskilde University (DK), held
5±6 May 1994, on `Comparative Welfare Systems', then published in
Comparative Welfare Systems, edited by Bent Greve (London: Macmillan,
1996).


Introduction


1 From Social Protection to
Social Integration: A
Glance at the Major Social
Issues in the Advanced
Countries
The purpose of this introductory chapter is to pose the problems of the
evolving relationship between social protection and social integration, which
deserves to be considered as the `critical point' of the crisis of the experience
of the Welfare State, as commonly debated today. This evolving relationship
is considered as a starting point for all our analysis into the `future' of the
Welfare State at the conclusion of this century.
Since the critical point of the evolving relationship between social
protection and integration is that in which their tendential convergence is
inverted into a tendential divergence, in this introductory chapter we will
make a rapid excursus into the more evident challenges of this divergence,
and into the main policy issues through which the tendential divorce
between social protection and social integration could be prevented and
avoided. A more careful examination of the structural features of the
divergence, and of the policies to avoid it and/or manage it in the best
way, is entrusted to the subsequent chapters, which are collected in two
parts: the first concerning the analysis of socio-economic structural change,
and the second concerning the analysis of the management policies of the
said change.

1 SOCIAL `PROTECTION' AND SOCIAL `INTEGRATION'
In the industrialized countries, we have lived from the beginning of this
century with the political and social experience of protection of the `least
favoured' or `marginalized' sections of society.
`Social Security', the principal goal of a large part of this century's political
struggles (a protection that would last `from the cradle to the grave', as
enunciated by the standard-bearer of social welfare, Great Britain), has
consisted, for the most part, in the economic protection of less favoured or
1


2

From Social Protection to Social Integration

marginalized people, the elderly, women, the young, the unemployed, etc., by
means of an increasingly extended system of public services and performances, physical and monetary.1
Despite the political and historical weight that the problem of marginalization has had in the evolution of our industrial societies this century, we
might wonder now whether the direction followed has borne fruit, or
whether certain incorrect approaches to the problem have hindered a fuller
realization of the goals of more advanced social integration.
1.1 Social Protection versus Social Integration?
We are becoming more and more aware, in fact, that the social protection (for
which many of us fought and are still fighting), seen in the light of the need
for `social integration', has provoked and is provoking a type of segregation of
the socially protected and ± given the ever greater number of categories of
those who are in some way `protected' (including even the young who are
protected in their `right' to study) ± is thus leading to a type of social
disintegration, the opposite result of what any social (or `welfare'2) policy
has assumed as an objective.
If this is the case, it is also legitimate to wonder what expedients there are
for preventing the process of social segregation which is implied by the
achievement of these objectives, granting the historical objectives to consolidate and improve the level of social security.
It is to this limited field of considerations that this book is devoted. The
subject, far from obsolete, must be considered the heart of the matter, to the
point that it deserves to be viewed as the introduction to all this work here
presented and dedicated to the recovery of the Welfare State and its transition
to a (commonly defined) welfare society. The theme of social marginalization
could be the critical point in the relationship between social protection and
social integration; the latter could be the crucial point in the passage from a
conservative to a progressive society, that is to say ± as I see it ± the passage
from an authoritarian and paternalist society to a truly free society.3 In this
general statement, I deliberately leave aside the very old problem of overcoming the `capitalist' system and its substitution with other `systems'. This
would involve a more complex defining of concepts and words, beyond the aims
of this book.4 This book, therefore, deals with the problem of the (so-called)
modern social gain, in particular those of the countries of the Welfare State, in
light of the ethical-political postulate of greater social integration.5
But a reconsideration of the Welfare State from this viewpoint is in
particular motivated by the impression that the characteristics of modern
industrial society, in which the Welfare State is solidly installed, have undergone such a profound change that the actual bases of an efficient management of the Welfare State are also changed radically.


From Social Protection to Social Integration

3

It is thus to the critical analysis of the change that we must refer in order
to deduce its implications for the future management of the Welfare State.
1.2 The Welfare State and Social Integration
Turning again to the initial question (`Has social protection in contemporary
society ensured, or will it be able to ensure, adequate social integration?'), in this
first chapter we will limit ourselves to developing, by way of introduction,
some main critical points of a deficient social integration in the societies of
the Welfare State.
Obviously, the reconstruction of the Welfare State in its historical achievements is taking place in a situation in which it has already successfully
carried out its original function of the fight against poverty. In fact, ubi
major minor cessat, where there is acute poverty, `protectionism' is a priority
need.
But from a certain level of well-being and a certain achieved level of social
protection upwards, it is only right that we ask ourselves whether, with
respect to the real social integration (which technology and the vast productive capacity of post-industrial society would permit), this protectionism is not
a sort of social paternalism, having, as an initial and immediate result, the
isolation of the protected, and their weakening as a participatory force in the
social dialectic.
Who are the `protected'? Obviously they consist of all the `non-active'
categories: women, the young, the elderly, the unemployed, the handicapped
and (in increasing numbers) the immigrants.
These non-active groups are growing in proportion to the development of
industrialized society. In fact, with total increases in labour earnings and
state provision (albeit in an always less than satisfactory way) for their
minimum needs, their need to work diminishes. Since the basic needs are
met, for them the marginal utility of an income gained against work (and
moreover not chosen work) decreases strongly. In short, the object of reflection is the following: that with the removal of the `non-active' from the
production process (as much as it may seem ± with regard to previous
situations ± a victory for the system) some serious breaks in behaviour and
cohesion are created between the active and the non-active. Therefore, what
we have called `social disintegration' may occur.
By integration I clearly mean (to the extent that words express concepts)
any effective opposite to segregation, separation or marginalization. An
excessive protection by categories leads in fact ± if there are not intervention
priorities commonly accepted, at least in the intentions ± to a consolidation
of the difference among categories and classes. It becomes, by itself, producer of separation between `beneficiaries' and `benefactors', protected and
unprotected, with consequences contrary to the aims pursued.


4

From Social Protection to Social Integration

1.3 Social Integration from Industrial to Post-Industrial Society
Industrialization, as we know, has created our present well-being. I wonder
whether our generation or future ones will ever really `understand' the
advantages that industrialization has offered us, in the form of a liberation
from profoundly harder living and working conditions, not having ever really
experienced these conditions for ourselves. The inhabitants of developing
countries, or at least those from countries which are still behind in the
industrialization process, are well aware of this, and will not listen to reason
when they defend their firm aspiration to the `model' of a modern industrial
society, of which we acutely feel the disadvantages, damage and obsolescence.6
However, every generation has to play its historic role. Ours is that of
looking to the future, not to the past: before us we already have postindustrial society.7 Looking at this, we might well say that we must already
know how to see and appreciate the regressive aspects of a regime of `social
protection', which for our grandparents and parents represented an
undoubted victory, but which today is showing signs of obsolescence with
respect to the model of society to which we are aspiring today. In many
aspects and in many social sectors the model even sought by our forefathers
is a long way from being reached.
We must bear in mind that in this case a classic recurrent dilemma is
reproduced when we deal with `dualistic' countries, countries that are essentially at a midway point: in which the damage co-exists between underdevelopment that has not yet brought the advantages of a modern postindustrial society to full fruit, and the damage of which we are becoming
more and more aware that is typical of what we could define as the `maturity'
of industrialization. One might wonder whether it is necessary to pass
through the standard phases of social progress, which, however, produce
other problems that cannot be ignored, or whether it is possible to aspire to
some sort of historic leap.
Certainly it is well known that for the countries in a medium stage of
the transition into post-industrial society (I think especially of Italy)
historic leaps are psychologically difficult and politically expensive: but
not impossible. In this case it is a question of identifying, with precision, their operational feasibility; nevertheless without retreating
before evolutionary perspectives only because the degree of backwardness
of the system is such that the capacity to realize certain intentions is
rather distant in time. Nor because, inversely, it allows us to follow
certain easy models of systems already initiated elsewhere, when in
reality we know that they too, though having benefited from favourable
historic circumstances, have, for the modern conscience, already been
superseded.


From Social Protection to Social Integration

5

1.4 From the Present Shortcomings to a New Type of Social Integration
The latter is certainly the case with the system of social protection for all
Western advanced countries. There is still a long way to go before realizing
this in a satisfactory way and already we feel we must adapt it to new needs
and new problems, that will tangibly alter its character.8
Here a type of political judgement comes into play which is often used in
comparing `American' society to `European' society. There is a tendency to
see American society as backward, with regard to social protection systems,
for the level (undoubtedly lower) of guaranteed and legal protection.
But if we look at European systems from the point of view of the collective
or communitarian participation in management of social protection services,
and to their absolute level of extension and efficiency, I believe that this
claimed `superiority' is modified considerably.9
The basic instrument for the protection of the marginalized is a regime of
social security that is adequate and generalized and which ensures in any situation and at any age a certain guaranteed level of income. We know now that such
a regime today is neither adequate nor generalized: there are levels of social
services that are completely below the acceptable minimum; and there are entire
categories of the marginalized (the elderly, the young, the unemployed, the
immigrants) who still do not enjoy the providence of the social security system.10
It is a common opinion that the possibilities of extending such a regime of
security depend on the productive income capacity of the economic system. In
effect, in systems with a higher level of income per capita, the social security
regime is better. But now even in these systems the problem is not posed in
terms of the satisfaction of the income levels of the marginalized, which tend to
be progressively unbalanced with respect to those of the `active' categories.
The trend that is strongly emerging is towards overcoming the concept of
protection, in order to attain that of the acquisition of a guarantee of basic
income for all social categories. However, the very definition of `basic' means
that this guarantee is activated only for a few: the most needy (with the
accompanying question of how to define and conceive them).
Thus there is a trend towards a sort of de-institutionalization of social
security, with the nature and forms that will be briefly outlined.
2 THE CONTEXTUAL CHALLENGES
2.1 The Relationship between the Active and Non-Active Population: A
Mystification
We will start from the classic consideration of the progressive `ageing' of the
population, understood obviously not as an absolute increase in the elderly


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