Just transition and welfare states: a largely unexplored relation

Author/s Béla Galgóczi, Philippe Pochet
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2023/165
Language English Pages 22 P. 46-67 File size 233 KB
DOI 10.3280/SL2023-165003
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Climate emergency has been recognised as a top policy priority by more and more policy-makers and the restructuring process it entails is seen as the main challenge of the coming decades. The welfare state that emerged in the context of a fossil fuel-based extractive economic model, based on a belief in sustained growth, cannot remain unaffected by the ongoing transition to a net-zero economy (Gough et al., 2008). Possible linkages between the welfare state and climate and environmental issues largely remain unexplored and until very recently discussion of social welfare systems in Europe has been disconnected from ecological concerns and policies and as well from the just transition narrative that took a prominent role in shaping the social dimension of climate policies. Both on the other hand assume continuing economic growth. This article aims to present a broad mapping of the current debates mainly at EU level, highlighting possible alternative directions (from green growth to sustainable welfare; from technology to behavioural changes). It proceeds through selected literature reviews offering a dialogue between different perspectives and opening successive routes of questioning. It also highlights the current limitations in the analysis of the role and the shape of welfare states in tackling environmental challenges and labour market transitions.

Keywords: welfare state, just transition, climate change, de-growth, labour

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Béla Galgóczi, Philippe Pochet, Just transition and welfare states: a largely unexplored relation in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 165/2023, pp 46-67, DOI: 10.3280/SL2023-165003