The Vertical Division of the European Welfare State

Zijderveld, Anton C.
May 1998
Society;May/Jun98, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p62
Academic Journal
This article traces the emergence of the vertical social structure with the rise of the centralized, comprehensive welfare state in Europe. A society is vertically structured, when individual citizens and their associations and institutions are ruled in a top-down manner by an overarching state, be it a tyrannical, an absolute-monarchical or a welfare spending state. In a sense, in these societies, each of them in their own way ruled by a centralized state, societal associations and institutions function in actual fact as the extension pieces of the state. It has been proven historically that, as a result of such a centralization of power, the civic spirit and culture will decline in stamina and lose its impact on human minds, emotions and actions.


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