The Many Faces of Sustainable Work, Wealth, Health, and Welfare

The project will deal with a topic I have been working on long since – The Varieties and Fragility of Sustainable Work, Wealth, Health, and Welfare. It will focus on public lectures and new publications aimed at translating complex findings from theory and comparative empirical research into readily understood “pop-science” journalism for a broader audience. It will build on two more recent books, “Welfare in an Idle Society? Reinventing Retirement, Work, Wealth, Health and Welfare” and “The Future of Welfare in a Global Europe”. Both publications are quite bulky (701 and 528 pages respectively), highly technical (with several hundreds of charts and tables), and correspondingly demanding, addressing mainly professional audiences. But their basic queries are of great public and political interest beyond specialist’s concerns. They approach challenges of survival of utmost timeliness: the sustainability of European welfare societies in a context of globalized economic competition, and the prerequisites of a specific European Social Model, still to be developed. Is there actually “no European Social Model in Europe” - or is there a case to be made for and trends of development towards a European Social Union? What is to be learned from sub-regional or national avant-garde models and the catching-up process of countries historically lagging behind EU standards? Is there an evolutionary pattern from warfare-welfare over welfare to welfare-cum-workfare - or unconditional basic income regimes? What distinguishes a pluralist “Welfare Society” or Welfare Mix model from a traditional paternalist “Sozialstaat”, both against ultraliberal Laissez-faire Darwinism or a protectionist National Social Welfare Chauvinism? What differences are to be observed from the UN-European Region of 56 countries vs the EU-27 and the Eurozone-19? Europe’s Futures are manifold and contingent. A comparative conceptual framework will be used to create vignettes with specific ideas for action to reinvent sustainable work, wealth, health and welfare.

Bernd Marin

Bernd Marin is Director of the European Bureau for Policy Consulting and Social Research in Vienna. 2015/2016 he was Rektor of the US-American Webster Vienna Private University. 1988-2015 he served as Executive Director of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, affiliated to the United Nations, in Vienna. 1984-1988 he was Professor of Comparative Political and Social Research at the European University Institute (EUI), the EU University in Florence, and Head of the Department of Political and Social Sciences 1986/1987. Between 1981 and 2019, Bernd has been Visiting Professor and giving lectures in many of the most renowned universities and research centers worldwide and served as a policy advisor to various governments, NGOs, and inter-governmental organizations. His recent books include The Future of Welfare in a Global Europe (ed.), 2015 and Welfare in an Idle Society? Reinventing Retirement, Work, Wealth, Health, and Welfare, 2013.