Advertisement

Wellbeing for All – The Aim of Social Cohesion: Developing the Approach at the Council of Europe

  • Gilda FarrellEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

Social cohesion can only be understood in the context of political interaction. By promoting it, the Council of Europe was seeking to guarantee the wellbeing of all. Nonetheless, its viability in contemporary European increasingly polarized and hierarchical societies should be discussed. The concept’s fortune at governments’ level is based on an interpretation disregarding the unequal distribution of wealth, by connecting it with the need to provide a shared rational to the administrative contribution to the welfare of the citizens, mainly the weakest ones. Not ignoring the conflictedness and insecurity inherent in social fragmentation, the Council of Europe has introduced the notion of “shared social responsibility” making it clear that the wellbeing for all implies mutual responsibility, beyond institutional answer to individuals. This article addresses the challenge of producing joint standards for setting priorities in polarized societies in which equal sharing of the burden is impossible, and this knowing that “parity-based” collective solutions cannot be built up among persons at the two extremes of the distribution of social wellbeing.

Keywords

Social cohesion Wellbeing for all Social polarity Social fragmentation Shared social responsibility Social continuum Shared criteria Joint standards Resource hybridization culture 

References

  1. Arendt, H. (1995). Qu’est-ce que la politique? Texte établi par Ursula Ludz. Paris: Editions du Seuil. English translations are ours.Google Scholar
  2. Bertelsmann Stiftung. (2013). Social cohesion radar: Measuring common ground. An international comparison of social cohesion. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Council of Europe. (2005). Methodological guide to the concerted development of social cohesion indicators. Council of Europe Publishing. Available at: http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/socialpolicies/socialcohesiondev/source/GUIDE_en.pdf
  4. Council of Europe. (2011). Towards a Europe of shared social responsibilities (Trends in social cohesion no. 23). Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Gallino, L., & Borgna, P. (2012). La lotta di classe dopo la lotta di classe. Roma: Editori Laterza.Google Scholar
  6. Offe, C. (2011, September). Shared social responsibility. Reflections on “responsible” social action models: Demand and supply. In Towards a Europe of shared social responsibilities: Challenges and strategies (Trends in social cohesion no. 23, p. 16). Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Ringen, S. (2005). The powerlessness of powerful government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Sacconi, L. (2011). From individual responsibility to shared social responsibilities: Concepts for a new paradigm. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.Google Scholar
  9. Sennett, R. (1998). The corrosion of character. The personal consequences of work in the new capitalism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Early Warning DivisionCouncil of EuropeStrasbourgFrance

Personalised recommendations