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The Concept of Social Policy ( Sozialpolitik)

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Abstract

The concept of Sozialpolitik (social policy) has rarely been considered in the English-language literature thus far. The present article surveys the pertinent English, American and German literature which led to the initiation of the Verein für Sozialpolitik (Social Policy Association) in 1873. All these efforts culminated in Otto von Zwiedineck's classic book, Sozialpolitik (1911). A chapter of this book, now printed in Zwiedineck's collected essays, Mensch und Wirtschaft, is offered in English translation for the first time. The article presents and clarifies the concept of Sozialpolitik in terms of social action directed toward problems affecting society as a whole and the continued attainment of society's goals. However, the definition of these goals remains subject to change. A theoretical foundation for the integration of scientific and normative perspectives in the social sciences is thereby provided.

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... If we adopt the classic normative view of social policy -originally developed by authors like Otto von Zwiedineck-Siidenhorst to describe sets of policies that place the cohesion of society at their core (Cahnman and Schmitt 1979: 51) -then the sum of the austerity measures and reforms adopted by successive Greek governments can be indisputably Κοινωνική Πολιτική / Τεύχος 1 / Απρίλιος 2013 – Papadopoulos Th., Roumpakis A. characterised as anti-social policy. With large numbers of households and family business indebted, record high unemployment and poverty rates, and successive closure of hundreds of thousands of small businesses, middle classes in Greece are facing a free fall in their incomes and an unprecedented assault in their socio-economic security. ...
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Our article examines key aspects of the Greek crisis and explores it under the light of the ongoing decline of the European Social Model. It is argued that the austerity measures implemented as conditions for receiving consecutive ‘bail-out’ loans have had, so far, a very negative impact upon the Greek economy, politics and society. Further, it is argued that labour market reforms underway inGreeceand the rest ofSouthern Europesignal some very worrying developments with respect to the social dimension of European integration. Indeed, especially in the area of collective agreements, when we view these reforms from a European perspective we can identify the rise of wage policy interventionism by the EU; a new process that ‘combines European requirements for national wage and labour market policies with the threat of economic sanctions’ (Busch et al (2013:8). In turn this signals the intensification of the (neo) liberalisation of the European Social Model and puts under severe doubt the prospects for a more socialEuropethat will prioritize social objectives and rights over economic freedoms.
... If we adopt the traditional normative view of social policy as a descriptor of policies that place the cohesion of society at their core (see the work of authors like Otto von Zwiedineck-Siidenhorst in Cahnman & Schmitt, 1979, p. 51) -then the sum of the austerity measures adopted by successive Greek governments can be characterised as anti-social policy. With a large number of households and family business units indebt, record high unemployment and poverty rates, and successive closure of hundreds of thousands of small businesses, middle classes in Greece are facing a free fall in their incomes and an unprecedented assault in their socio-economic security. ...
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... They are subject to mutation and expansion or contraction as societies evolve new institutions for new circumstances. A good example of misconceived effort is Cahnman and Schmitt (1979), which contains a tangle of topic and discipline, together with a rather naïve view of the role of value judgements in analysis and which, not surprisingly, fails altogether in its objective of providing a definition of the 'concept' of social policy. Admittedly this is an extreme case. ...
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... Im deutschen Sprachraum erfolgt die Konkretisierung des Begriffs Sozialpolitik in der Gründung des "Vereins für Socialpolitik" 1873. Erst rund hundert Jahre später findet Sozialpolitik als "social policy" auch international breitere Resonanz, denn im angloamerikanischen Sprachraum waren zunächst die Begriffe "welfare" oder "social security" geläufiger (Cahnman/Schmitt 1979;Kaufmann 2003a). Obwohl Deutschland mit den Bismarckschen Sozialversicherungen nicht nur realgeschichtlich, sondern auch begriffsgeschichtlich ein Pionier der Sozialpolitik war, wurde der Begriff im Verlauf seiner rund 150-jährigen Geschichte auch in Deutschland immer wieder von konkurrierenden Bezeichnungen überschattet und, zumindest zeitweise, verdrängt. ...
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Das Arbeitspapier richtet sich an alle, die einen Einstieg in die Sozialpolitikforschung suchen und bietet einen Überblick über die zentrale Konzeptionen, Theorien und Wirkungen von Sozialpolitik. Sozialpolitik war von jeher ein schillernder Begriff und entzieht sich einer allumfassenden Definition, weshalb sowohl eine engere Konzeption als auch weiter gefasste Varianten der Sozialpolitik diskutiert werden. Die enge Konzeption bezieht sich aufSozialpolitik als Staatstätigkeitund wird dann auf sektoraler, funktionaler und territorialer Ebene erweitert. Die Theorien zur Entstehung, zum Wandel, zum Umbau und den nationalen Unterschieden der Sozialpolitik werden systematisch nach drei dominierenden Schulen (Funktionalismus, Machtressourcenansatz, Institutionalismus) abgehandelt und kritisch kommentiert. Im letzten Teil werden die sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und politischen Wirkungen sozialpolitischer Interventionen erörtert. Dabei wird deutlich, dass die positiven Effekte bei aller Kritik dominieren. ; Sozialpolitik war von jeher ein schillernder Begriff und entzieht sich einer allumfassenden Definition, weshalb sowohl eine engere Konzeption als auch weiter gefasste Varianten der Sozialpolitik diskutiert werden. Die enge Konzeption bezieht sich auf Sozialpolitik als Staatstätigkeit und wird dann auf sektoraler, funktionaler und territorialer Ebene erweitert. Die Theorien zur Entstehung, zum Wandel, zum Umbau und den nationalen Unterschieden der Sozialpolitik werden systematisch nach drei dominierenden Schulen (Funktionalismus, Machtressourcenansatz, Institutionalismus) abgehandelt und kritisch kommentiert. Im letzten Teil werden die sozialen, wirtschaftlichen und politischen Wirkungen sozialpolitischer Interventionen erörtert. Dabei wird deutlich, dass die positiven Effekte bei aller Kritik dominieren.
Chapter
Social policy [Sozialpolitik] is a scholarly term that has had a career in practical politics. It arose first in the German-speaking realm, within the horizon of the Hegelian distinction between state and civil society. It was gradually codified academically by scholars belonging to the Verein für Socialpolitik [Association for Social Policy], which was founded in 1873. Its institutional career began with Bismarck’s social reforms, though it took quite some time before it won out over competing German as well as international terms. Until the end of the Weimar Republic, social policy remained chiefly an academic term for the institutional developments taking place under different names. Its introduction into practical affairs took place gradually and especially after the Second World War. The international career of the term dates only to the last three decades.
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The concept of social control is crucial in explaining both the growth of social policies and their effects. It raises important questions about the legitimacy of state intervention, the maintenance of order and the protection of individual freedom. The term is widely used in the social policy literature but there have been few attempts to define it or to explore its various meanings and connotations. The aim of this article is to examine some of these issues. It begins with an account of the growth of social control theories focusing particularly upon recent developments in Marxist thought and the literature on the ‘urban crisis’ and ‘radical social work’. The second and third sections of the article explore the different usages of the notion of social control and evaluate some of the main propositions of social control theories of social policy.
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The article uses a distinction between topic and discipline to argue that social administration, like economics, is characterized by both, but that social administration has the special advantage, in treating the topic of social policy, of being multi-disciplinary. An account is presented of why economics is underrepresented among the disciplines of social administration, and three important contributory roles are outlined for economics to play in the development of social administration.
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This article sets out to explore the ways in which social policy is catered for, at university level, in various European countries. It starts with a review of the ‘Sigriswil (1972 and 1973) Colloquia’ papers on ‘The Study of Social Policy: Teaching and Research’. Having weighed up the evidence – or lack of evidence – emanating from these get-togethers, the article then goes on to explore university social policy teaching – and the extent to which this may or may not constitute a coherent specialist programme – in selected West German, French, Swedish and Swiss (Geneva) university arrangements. Concluding comments on this evidence highlight several key aspects of debate so far as present and probable trends in social policy and administration education at university level in Britain are concerned.
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The phrase “welfare state” is of recent origin. It was first used to describe Labour Britain after 1945. From Britain the phrase made its way round the world. It was freely employed, usually but not exclusively by politicians and journalists, in relation to diverse societies at diverse stages of development. Historians also took over the phrase. Attempts were made to re-write nineteenth and twentieth century history, particularly British history, in terms of the “origins” and “development” of a “welfare state”.
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Over a century ago the American economist Henry C. Carey wrote that the masters of slaves “feel that they consult their own interests in feeding, clothing, and lodging them well, because wealth increases faster than population, and their labor becomes daily more valuable.” The change in the wealth/labor ratio which Carey noted is a fundamental aspect of economic growth. Carey saw its consequences in terms of the better care bestowed upon the slave by his master, but with appropriate modifications the same consequences apply to the free worker in a maturing industrial society.
Die Notwendigkeit der Tatsachenforschung
  • Zwiedineck-Südenhorst
Zum Schicksal der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland
  • von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst
Wandlungen in den Voraussetzungen der Sozial politik
  • von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst
Mensch und Gesellschaft im Leben und Denken von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst
  • Neuloh