Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Avatars de la protecció social

José Antonio Noguera, José Adelantado Gimeno


All through the last century, from the two last decades of XIXth century
till the end of the 1970's, social protection has developed a whole cycle
of nationalization and de-nationalization. From being voluntary and
pluralist, it became state-owned and compulsive after the Second World
War, and now it is increasingly becoming private and de-monopolized
again. The key issue of such evolution has been the commodification of
the labour force, but it also has depended on changes in social structure
and its effects upon the distribution of political power. Social protection
goes beyond mere compensation of social inequalities to constitute,
modulate and naturalize them; and it does so both under direct state
administration and under the so-called welfare pluralism. Anyway, the
degree of state intervention always depends on social-organizational
dynamics which regulate social inequality. Therefore, the removing of
public involvement in social protection should not be analyzed as a "lost",
but better as a change in the patterns of social domination. This article
seeks to explore some aspects of that cycle, and to present a general view
of the debate on de-nationalization of social protection in Spain.

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