The Global Relevance of Subsidiarity: An Overview

  • Michelle EvansEmail author
  • Augusto Zimmermann
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 37)


The word subsidiarity derives from subsidiary, which in turn has its roots in the Latin word subsidium. In simple words, subsidiarity means the same as assistance or help. As a principle of social philosophy, however, subsidiarity is among the most characteristic directives of the Catholic Church’s social doctrine. It has been present since the encyclical Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII and it was enunciated by Pope Pius XI in 1931 as a central principle of social theory. In Quadragesimo Anno the Sumo Pontiff outlined the principle of subsidiarity as follows:


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Curtin University Law SchoolPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Murdoch University School of LawPerthAustralia

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