«No Need to Slay Chicken that Lays Golden Eggs»:
Social State and Its Transformations at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Kanarsh G.Yu.

Cand. Sci. (Politic.), Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Philosophy, RAS Institute of Philosophy, Moscow, Russia grigkanarsh@yandex.ru

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009292-4
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Kanarsh G.Yu. «No Need to Slay Chicken that Lays Golden Eggs»: Social State and Its Transformations at the Beginning of the 21st Century. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 6. P. 51-60


The article analyzes the evolution of the social state in the West in the late 20th – early 21st centuries. The article is about the significant transformation of the social state in recent decades in the West. However, from the author’s point of view, we are not talking about the “triumphant fall of the welfare state”, but rather about its modernization and adaptation to the changed conditions. The article analyzes the main models of the welfare state in Europe. According to the author, despite the fact that everywhere today there has been liberalization, country models of the social state are still preserved. Despite the significant differences between them, all of them, in the author’s opinion, are united by pragmatism and a consensual model of behavior based on it. Pragmatism is not only characteristic of the classical versions of the welfare state, it is also inherent in the modernized social state in Europe. In this regard, the article examines the evolution of the UK Labour party and changes in its social policy after coming to power in 1997. Finally, some concepts of global redistribution are considered. It is shown that the pragmatic, consensual approach of the European social democrats is in demand today not only at the national, but also at the global level.

social state; welfare state; social justice; conservatism; social democracy; liberalism; pragmatism; “the New Labour”; global inequality; global redistribution; global justice


Ananyeva E.V. (2001) “Silent Revolution” by T. Blair. In: Actual Problems of European Countries. A Textbook. Moscow: Dipakademiya MID Rossii: 3–27. (In Russ.)

Antyushina N.M. (2011) Essence and Prospects of the North European Model. In: Kargalova M.V. (ed.) Social Europe in the 21st Century. Moscow: Ves' Mir: 299–319. (In Russ.)

Belkin S.V. (2005) The Evolution of British Labour in the Rise and Fall of the “Conservative Wave”: 1979–2001. Abstract of Cand. Sci. (Hist.) Dissertation. Voronezh. (In Russ.)

Belov V.B. (2011) Social State in Germany. In: Kargalova M.V. (ed.) Social Europe in the 21st Century. Moscow: Ves' Mir: 239–260. (In Russ.)

Bonoli G. (1997) Classifying Warfare States: a Two-dimension Approach. Journal of Social Policy. Vol. 26. Iss. 3. July: 351–372.

Bunkova L.A. (2005) Social Program of the “New Labour” in Great Britain: Preparation, Priority Directions, Implementation (1994–2001). Abstract of Cand. Sci. (Hist.) Dissertation. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Crawford K., Nevsky S.I., Romanova E.V. (eds) (2017) The Social Market Economy – the Founders and Classics. Moscow: Ves' Mir. (In Russ.)

Dahrendorf R. (1983) The Сhances of the Сrisis: on the Future of Liberalism. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. (In Germ.)

Esping-Andersen G. (1990) The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Fedotova V.G. (2005) The Good Society. Moscow: Progress-Traditsiya. (In Russ.)

Fedotova V.G. (2015) Is There a Chance for Global Social Democracy? Polis. Politicheskie issledovaniya [Polis. Political Studies]. No. 3: 110–126. DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2015.03.07. (In Russ.)

Giddens A. (ed.) (2001) The Global Third Way Debate. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Giddens A. (1998) The Third Way: the Renewal of Social Democracy. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Kargalova M.V. (2011) Definition and Content of the European Social Model. In: Kargalova M.V. (ed.) Social Europe in the 21st Century. Moscow: Ves' Mir: 173–186. (In Russ.)

Kvashnin Yu.D. (ed.) (2016) Social State in the EU: Past and Present. Moscow: IMEMO RAN. (In Russ.)

Myslivchenko A.G. (1998) Chapter IV: Swedish Model of Social Development. In: Myslivchenko A.G. (ed.) Western Social-Democracy: Search for Renewal in a Crisis. Moscow: IF RAN: 70–86. (In Russ.)

Myslivchenko A.G. (2004) Western Social-Democracy and Prospects of the Social State. In: Pletnikov Yu.K. (ed.) The Historical Destinies of Socialism. Moscow: IFRAN: 259–282. (In Russ.)

Nureev R.M. (ed.) (2007) The Social Market Economy: Concepts, Practical Experience and Application Prospects in Russia. Moscow: GU–VSHE. (In Russ.)

Okhoshin O.V. (2014) Transformation of the Doctrine of Laborism in Great Britain (1945–1997). Vestnik RGGU. Seriya “Istoricheskie nauki. Vseobshchaya istoriya” [RSUH/RGGU BULLETIN. Series “Historical Studies. General History”]. No. 13(135): 176–190. (In Russ.)

Ostapenko G.S., Prokopov A.Yu. (2012) The Modern History of Great Britain: 20th – the Beginning of the 21st Century: A Textbook. Moscow: Vuzovskij uchebnik: INFRA-M. (In Russ.)

Pavlova O.Yu. (2009) Economic Policy of British Labourists under the First Government of A. Blair (1997– 2001). Abstract of Cand. Sci. (Hist.) Dissertation. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Piketty T. (2015) Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Moscow: Ad Marginem Press. (In Russ.)

Rabotyazhev N.V. (2016) British Labour Party: Forward, to the Past? Politeia. No. 4(83): 108–127. DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2016-83-4-108-127. (In Russ.)

Rabotyazhev N.V. (2014) British Labour Party on the Way to Adaptation to Modern World. Politeia. No. 2: 118–140. DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2014-73-2-118-140. (In Russ.)

Rabotyazhev N.V. (2012) European Social Democracy in Search for Adaptation to Changing World. Politeia. No. 3: 146–167. DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2012-66-3-146-167. (In Russ.)

Ricceri M. (2011) The American Model as an Alternative to the ESM on the World Stage. In: Kargalova M.V. (ed.) Social Europe in the 21st Century. Moscow: Ves' Mir: 349–373. (In Russ.)

Content No 6, 2020