The Constitution of Society and Challenges for Social Policy

It will be investigated what constitutes societies and how processes of cohesion and isolation/falling apart emerge, develop and present themselves as challenge for policy in general and social policy in particular.

Social Policy – Who’s Interest?

Social policy seems in contemporary debates mostly driven by structures and requirements being set externally – budget restrictions are just one issue. However, the answers on such requirements are by now means fixed by neutral laws. Rather, social policy is a system of reflected answers on general challenges of social and societal integration. As such, it fulfils different functions, answering different interests in a struggle for power balances.

Social Policy in a Modernising World

It cannot be clearly said what modernisation actually is – a wide range of definitions is offered. However, it is clear that it is closely linked to a development that has once been described as one “From Status to Contract” (Maine). Against such a background it has to be explored how the fundamental patterns of solidarity and competition develop(ed).

Social Policy – One Question, Different Answers

Even if social policy is fundamentally concerned with the same basic question there are different answers. These depend very much on national traditions – thus reflecting the political culture which evolved over decades and is shaped by the power relationships in the countries. With reservations we can speak of welfare regimes, a term coined by Esping-Andersen in the early 1990s. It can be shown that even the questions, which social policy is faced with are different.

European Integration – Threat or Opportunity

The idea or better: reality of European Integration is based on putting into practice what is called four basic freedoms, namely

*   Freedom of capital,

*   Freedom of goods,

*   Freedom of services,

*   Freedom of people.

However, even if it is largely a process driven by the aim of establishing a single market, thus an economic entity in a tripartite world, there are many consequences for social policy, be it in terms of the provision of social services or be it in terms of finding answers on fundamental social challenges.

Housing – Shelter and Shaping Social Spaces

The need for housing is one of the fundamental needs in human life. However, far from being the provision of shelter only it is very much shaped by and shaping the way of how people explore and appropriate the space of their being, a social space.

The Caring Side of a Inconsiderate Society – Gender and Social Policy

Contemporary societies – and not only them – are largely build on patterns that can be regarded as dominated by male ideas; societies, based on patriarchy, patronage and dominance, in particular. However, in social policy we have apparently an area where women have a strong position – the caring role of society, brought from the family into the public space. But how do women really perform in the area of today’s societies?


European Social, Organisational and Science Consultancy – ESOSC

The Jasnaja Poljana Clonmoyle


Co. Cork


Phone: +353.(0)21.7334833; +353.(0)87.2303335; +353.(0)86.3454589

FAX: +353.(0)21.7334826

URL: http://www.esosc.org


for students queries from CIT only



University College Cork

Department of Applied Social Studies


Co. Cork


Phone: +353.(0)21.4903398

FAX: +353.(0)21.4903443

for queries in connection with UCC only