By introducing a focus on the time dimension, I argue that the concept of social sus-tainability provides social policy with a challenging agenda that raises both norma-tive and positive/substantive questions. This includes at least the following three different aspects of sustainability: intragenerational, intergenerational and system-ic/institutional. The first (intragenerational) aspect is that social policies should be design to sustain good life chances for all over their entire life cycle, which requires that individuals are able to deal with each of the life course risks that they meet. The second (intergenerational) aspect is that policies should be sustainable in an inter-generational perspective, which highlights both the reproductive dimension and the savings dimension of social policy. Social policy can be used to support families to have the number of children they want in order to promote a stable population de-velopment, which has the potential to ease the burden of ageing populations. The savings dimension is related to desirability to invest in today’s children, the future tax base, as complement. The third system/institutional aspect is that polices, or ra-ther; the social policy institutions need to be sustainable over time to deal adequate-ly with both intra- and inter-generational dimensions of life chances and inequali-ties. The position of children is particularly relevant along all the three dimensions. Social policy institutions are typically of a national origin and character. However, it is clear that the institutional sustainability has figured prominently on the European level as part of the European Union’s (EU) work on the social dimension, namely health care and pensions. But it is equally true for the other sustainability aspects related to various life course risks. It is also clear that the sustainability questions that are discussed on the European level are of global relevance. This is evident in the UN Sustainable Development Goals that share a number of commonalities with the EU agendas. The paper discusses these three sustainability issues from the perspective of ageing populations and the desirability of a balanced generational welfare contract (cf. Birnbaum, Ferrarini, Nelson, Palme 2017).
|Vortragende||Joakim PALME, University of Uppsala|
|Kontakt||Soziologie, Sozialpolitik, Sozialarbeit