US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
Commentary :: Social Welfare
Welfare State and Inner Security
14 May 2008
The punitive side of welfare state reform is read as a success. Problems result because firstly there is not enough work and secondly those integrated in work can often hardly live from that. Massive exclusion and precariousness exist everywhere. Workfare policy supplements supply-side policy.
WELARE STATE AND INNER SECURITY

How “Reform” gave birth to the “Security Society”

By Heinz Jurgen Dahme

[This article published in: Forum Wissenschaft 1/2008 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.linksnet.de/artikel.php?id=3562. Heinz Jurgen Dahme is a professor at the Free University of Magdeburg focusing on social services and youth unemployment.]


The social policy of the last years has altered the former welfare state in its basic structures. The negative sanctions used systematically today have effects on security. Society also changed in its basic structure. This was a decisive midwifery for the prevailing understanding of “inner security.” Heinz Jurgen Dahme analyzes this development.

The current welfare state reforms and its constant corrections awaken remembrances of the Marxist pauperization theory. In the long run, dependent labor cannot ensure the existence of persons dependent on it. Therefore state interv3entions (under capitalist conditions) are necessary so those who must live from labor can live from labor. This fact gave rise to the development of the welfare state. The present welfare state agenda explains the forms of welfare state maintenance of wage-dependent labor as problematic because it weakens the personal responsibility of benefit recipients. Activation policy inst3ead of generous transfer payments is the programmatic of welfare state modernization whose highest goal is reintegrating those excluded from labor in the labor market. From the start, the gradual instrumentalization of social policy for labor market goals distrusted the personal responsibility of civil society. Forcible instruments like urging and promoting were legally prescribed. The “will to integration” of unemployed persons was flanked with the obligation to accept any work.

In the meantime, the punitive side of welfare state reform [1] is read as a success. From a welfare state perspective, problems result because firstly there is not enough work and secondly those integrated in work can often hardly live from that. In the debate around the necessity of a minimum wage, it was clear building a low-wage sector will not be possible without state subsidies of wages putting the whole operation in question.

RENAISSANCE OF COERCION

As a consequence, the number of those who must earn their livelihood under precarious conditions is rapidly increasing. The class of the “working poor” grows. Parallel to this, a comprehensive revision of inner security systems is carried out to prevent the increasing social poverty. Activation policy inst3ead of generous transfer payments is the programmatic of welfare state modernization whose highest goal is reintegrating those excluded from labor in the labor market. From the start, the gradual instrumentalization of social policy for labor market goals distrusted the personal responsibility of civil society. Forcible instruments like urging and promoting were legally prescribed. The “will to integration” of unemployed persons was flanked with the obligation to accept any work.

In the meantime, the punitive side of welfare state reform [1] is read as a success. From a welfare state perspective, problems result because firstly there is not enough work and secondly those integrated in work can often hardly live from that. In the debate around the necessity of a minimum wage, it was clear building a low-wage sector will not be possible without state subsidies of wages putting the whole operation in question.

RENAISSANCE OF COERCION

As a consequence, the number of those who must earn their livelihood under precarious conditions is rapidly increasing. The class of the “working poor” grows. Parallel to this, a comprehensive revision of inner security systems is carried out to prevent the increasing social poverty from endangering the inner social order. Initially intended as a concept for combating criminality, the police strategy “zero tolerance” develops into a new regulative principle of personal service. The new welfare state will exercise social and economic globalization functions and present itself as a “social state.” The new “policy of severity” should stop “social exclusion, social anomie, increasing criminality and the formation of a massive lower class” [2] and codify measures that were long taboo. Increased controlled and repressive forms of intervention were the contours of a “security society” [3] in which prevention is organized as a social control and discipline and contributes to a “renaissance of coercion,” [4] even a “delight in punishing.” [5] The “policy of severity” does not wait for the jerk going through society but “actively” enforces adjustment to social norms. The inner organization of the state is manifest from crime policy and labor market policy to social policy and youth work. [6] The strong state seemingly extends its policy of severity to more areas and divergent conduct of the homeless and beggars who as security risks are increasingly targeted groups for law and order downtown measures. [7]

WORKFARE STATE ORDER

The social policy of urging and promoting as formulated by the Agenda 2010 of the Red-Green coalition includes the reemphasis and expansion of personal responsibility and self-activation. These virtues are enforced with coercion if necessary. More than a change in policy occurs. A new social model is implemented. The welfare state sees its social benefits as an element of a “welfare-to-work” policy described as workfare instead of welfare. [8] Workfare regimes assumer that benefit-recipients will offer return favors. They must show they “are actively seeking work, ready to be trained and prove their readiness to work (in accepting any work if necessary). Otherwise social benefits can be cut or completely stopped. Workfare policy has a selection-function since only the really needy are helped (for example those without savings and trifling competitiveness) and an investment function since human capital (the worker) is qualified through continuing education and protected from future unemployment. An unattractive system of social benefits (short duration, controls, and benefit cuts with deficient cooperation) should prevent benefit recipients from accustoming themselves to social transfers and establishing themselves in their situation.

The workfare policy introduced in Europe by social democrats is promoted as an alternative to neoconservative policy that until recently insisted the best social policy is based on a solid economic policy. The supply-side policy favored by neoconservatives up to the 1990s managed without an explicit social model since competitive markets in distributing goods would contribute to more justice than global welfare state control and redistribution programs. The promises of supply-oriented policy from the 1970s to the 1990s were seldom fulfilled so massive exclusion- and precariousness tendencies exist today everywhere in Europe. Workfare policy supplements supply-side policy with an activating political-social model by means of flexicurity-strategies [9] to promote “re-entry” in work and in the social security systems.

According to several indicators on the effects of supply-side policy in Germany, the state share reached its highest level in 1980 at 47.9% and fell to 43.8% in 1990. The social share climbed from 21.1% to 30.6% from 1966 to 1980 and amounted to 27.6% in 1990. The supply-side policy realizes its goal of budget consolidation by slashing welfare state benefits. The consequences of this fact should not be ignored. Paid wage labor is increasingly treated as a means of international location competition. As a result, precarious working conditions multiply. At the same time, the changed welfare state programmatic ensures that those released as no longer profitable enough are forced into work forms that include “poverty.” This poverty population is the result of a politically-intended dismantling of so-called “job obstacles” in a largely blocked first labor market. The employer president formulated the economic quintessence of this fact when he remarked on the minimum wage debate: “Now 3.4 million fully employed persons earn less than 1500/euro and 2.6 million employees less than 1300/euro and 1.3 million less than 1000/euro. This is equal to an hourly wage of 6.10/euro. Introduction of a minimum wage would acutely endanger these jobs.” (Employer president Hundt, 6/23/2006). [10]

An extended discussion is carried out parallel to the development and expansion of precarity in society and security projects. Fritz Saek refers to the Anglo-American realm and to L. Wacquarts’ study “From the Charitable State to the Punishing State” (1999) and summarizes this change as follows: “Another coincidence of two separate processes can be identified along side the parallel development of increasing state repression and social punishment. According to the principle of communicating tubes, two political fields march in step that at first have nothing to do with each other. These fields actually are closely connected. The renaissance of the repressive and “atavistic-punishing” side of the criminal law increases as the political field of social- and welfare state benefits and institutions loses significance and political and fiscal promotion.” [11] The new order policy of “inner security” is a “policy of severity” and a constitutive element of the “politics of the third way.” The activating state assumes creative social and economic functions and rediscovers itself as an order-state that goes beyond social- and activation policy. Social order is understood primarily as a more secure order. This development also began long before September 11, 2001. [12]

The theory of the strong state is usually defended as the only way to exclude the effects of globalization and the negative effects of the social individualization processes. In this connection, the “spirit of modern individualism” and its claimant mentality support a state with the control function that the family, neighborhood and work have lost. [13] Criminal law is understood as the “prima ratio” of conflict resolution, not as “ultima ratio.” Young (“education-resistant”) offenders [14] should not disappear in “niches of irresponsibility” between the helping institutions or be offered “cuddling pedagogy.”

Repeat offenders should no longer be sent to and fro without orientation. Social intervention must be expanded with sanction possibilities like curfew, confinement to barracks, harsher punishments for youths and locked homes. [15] In the debate around intensifying Youth Criminal Law simplified by Hesse prime minister Roland Koch, the objective is production of acceptance. Repeat offenders who cannot be reached through pedagogical offers must be effectively opposed. In the debate around intensifying youth punishments, preventive prison punishments and “warning shot arrests” were urged instead of probation so youths see early “how prison feels from the inside “ (K. Koch).

The establishment of so-called education camps is broadly approved as long as youths do not become “humiliated and degraded” (German minister of justice). Education camps are an “innovative way of carrying out youth punishment” (Saxony minister of justice) should enable them to lead a future life free of punishment (Bosbach, CDU). [16] In the sense of the activation policy shared by most parties, agreement could probably occur after the debate smoke evaporates that education camps including training components far beyond the drill are really competence centers and not penal institutions.

GENERAL-SUSPICION SOCIETY

The debate around the 2007/08 turn of the year is a good example how prevention-discourse “first produced security panic schemes as combat measures.” [17] Prevention-discourses long known in the realm of inner security have also reached social policy that asks how far welfare state cases can be kept under control so they aren’t disturbing any more. Thus inner security becomes the theme of welfare state intervention strategies.

The model of the strong state stressed by protagonists of workfare policy (even if they stylize themselves as freedom-loving modernizers who cannot “privatize” fast enough) leads ultimately to redefining and disfiguring the double role of the inhabitant as private person and citizen. The citizen should make productive contributions to the public good. The role of the citizen should not be limited to the function of democratic elections. As a bourgeois, the citizen should pursue his private interests and see this as a “labor entrepreneur” in searching for income. From the normative upgrading of the inclusion function of civil society, it is only a small step to societal failure when citizens do not do justice to their role and breakdown as labor entrepreneurs or indulge in risky costly lifestyles.

Social service careers are increasingly confronted with that reality and obligated to lifestyle- and job-creation interventions. The logic of non-profit organizations changes. [18] Techniques of standardization and government are enforced that aim at preventing the “customer” of the welfare state from personal responsibility and personal control and imposing sanctions for non-compliance. The activating relations with the welfare state clientele is a social-technological intervention that decides which activation measures face the person and which benefits are given. In view of a structurally conditioned under-supply of jobs in the first labor market, [19] activation policy is often only exclusion management for the “superfluous” (R. Castel) who can no longer have a role as bourgeois or feel they are citizens since they are reduced to the customer status. The customer of the welfare state is not king since the interaction between social benefit authorities and the welfare state clientele is structured asymmetrically because of the activation paradigm. The client applying for social benefits stands under the general suspicion of not wanting to work and must credibly demonstrate this will in work possibilities. The civil society organizations of the welfare state sector are governmentally subsidized as extended workbenches of this altered relief program. This example shows that social policy and inner security combine more than merely their domestic political bias. One strategy replaces or supplements the other; one begins when the other breaks down. Social policy is part of a total strategy of political order that unites different instruments for one purpose.

“ACCEPTANCE” - PRODUCTION

If the current debate about the “activating state and personal responsibility is seen as only a “neoliberal variant of civil society” [20] the new social- and order-policy does not encourage individuals and civil society to personal responsibility or support their self-organization. An activating civil society is based on a new understanding of the welfare state that uses paternalist, punitive and repressive means like work pressure and coercion, control- and surveillance instruments for the restoration of security and order, “employability” and “community” and not only neoliberal means of economic incentives. This change enforces a social model for the competitive societies of the 21st century. For a long while, the activating state saw itself as a competition state in a stubborn polarized society, The activating policy should ultimately ensure that the economic incentives work and are accepted in society.

This welfare-to-work state undermines civil society. Building a state control- and surveillance machine, defining social spaces under a comprehensive control regime, creating early warning centers to identify breakdowns, screening citizens in the name of combating terrorism and using the German army in domestic affairs – all this serves a comprehensive security that implies society from the state’s perspective is everything but trustworthy. “The red line is very simple and is always defined by the constitution that can be changed” (Spiegel 28/07). So the interior minister defined the need for security reform. One recalls the sociologist Georg Simmel who in his “Sociology of Poverty” around the turn from the 19th to the 20th century assumed state social policy – in the form of care for the poor at that time – was the primary element of social order and security. [21] This unity does not arise out of humanitarian and ethical motives alone. The connection of social- and order policy doesn’t have to be first demonstrated in capitalist societies. To critical contemporaries of Bismarkian policy, the connection between socialist laws and introduction of the first social security was very obvious. This connection is obvious in a “comprehensive security regime." The Hessian prime minister urges a revival of the value debate: “Everything will be learned. Order is half of life. Practice makes the master.” These time-honored saying have a simple meaning in an increasingly complex world. “No prize without diligence” (Roland Koch). Can our complex world be so simple?

NOTES
1) Vgl. Trube, A./Wohlfahrt,N.: „Der aktivierende Sozialstaat“ – Sozialpolitik zwischen Individualisierung und einer neuen Politischen Ökonomie der Inneren Sicherheit, in: WSI-Mitteilungen, Heft 1, 2001, S.3-7; H.-J. Dahme, H.-J./Wohlfahrt, N.: Die „verborgene“ Seite des aktivierenden Staats. Sicherheit und präventive Kontrolle als Leitbild von Sozialinterventionen. In: Sozial Extra, H. 8/9, 2003, S.17-21

2) SPD-Grundwertekommission: Die „dritten Wege“ der Sozialdemokratie – Material zur Reform des Sozialstaats. In: Theorie und Praxis sozialer Arbeit, H. 8, 2001, S.283-29

3) Legnaro, A.: Konturen der Sicherheitsgesellschaft: Eine polemisch- futurologische Skizze. In: Leviathan, 25. Jg., 1997, S.271-284

4) Nickolai, W./Reindl, R. (Hrsg.): Renaissance des Zwangs – Konsequenzen für die Straffälligenhilfe, Freiburg i.B. 1999

5) Sack, F.: Von der Nachfrage- zur Angebotspolitik auf dem Feld der Inneren Sicherheit. In: Dahme, H.-J./Otto, H.-U./Trube, A./Wohlfahrt, N. (Hg.)., Soziale Arbeit für den aktivierenden Staat, Opladen, 2003, S.249-276, S.250

6) Vgl. Wendt, W.-R.: Behandeln unter Zwang. In: Sozialmagazin, 1997, H. 1, S.15-19

7) Vgl. Höfling, W.: „Bettelfreie“ Innenstadtbereiche? Oder: Von den Untiefen des Polizei- und Straßenrechts. In: Die Verwaltung, 33/2000, S.207-218; Simon, T.: Innere Sicherheit in den Kommunen. Gefahrenabwehrverordnungen und andere Instrumente zur Kontrolle des öffentlichen Raums. In: Dahme/Otto/Trube/Wohlfahrt, 2003, S.295-305, a.a.O.

8) Vgl. Peck, J.: Workfare-States. New York 2001

9) Vgl. Kommission der Europäischen Gemeinschaft: Gemeinsame Grundsätze für den Flexicurity-Ansatz herausarbeiten (27.6.2007); Schulze Buschoff, K./Protsch, P.: Auf dem Weg zur Flexicurity, in: WZB-Mitteilungen, H. 117, 2007, S.31-35

10) Vgl. Dahme, H.-J./Wohlfahrt, N.: Aporien staatlicher Aktivierungspolitik. Engagementpolitik im Kontext von Wettbewerb, Sozialinvestition und instrumenteller Governance. In: Forschungsjournal Neue Soziale Bewegungen, H. 2, 2007, S.27-39

11) Sack 2003, S.251 a.a.O.

12) Vgl. z.B. Legnaro 1997 a.a.O.; Bauman, Z.: Die Fremden des Konsumzeitalters. Vom Wohlfahrtsstaat zum Gefängnis. In: ders., Unbehagen in der Postmoderne, Hamburg 1999, S.66-83; Wacquant, L.: Elend hinter Gittern. Konstanz 2000

13) Vgl. Sack 2003, a.a.O.

14) Vgl. zu dieser Diskussion den Band: Witte, M. D./Sander, U. (Hg.): Erziehungsresistent? „Problemjugendliche“ als besondere Herausforderung der Jugendhilfe. Baltmannsweiler 2006

15) Vgl. Deutsches Jugendinstitut: Die Glen Mills Schools, Pennsylvania, USA. Ein Modell zwischen Schule, Kinder- und Jugendhilfe und Justiz? Eine Expertise. München 2001; auch schon: Darnstädt, Th.: Angriff auf die bösen Jungs. In: Der Spiegel 12/1999

16) Vgl. dazu die Berichterstattung der Süddeutschen Zeitung allein vom 31.12.2007 bis 03.01.2008

17) Lindner, W.: Verlassen von allen guten Geistern? Anmerkungen zum Verhältnis von Innerer Sicherheit, Prävention und fachlichen Maximen der Kinder- und Jugendarbeit. In: Dahme/Otto/Trube/Wohlfahrt, 2003, a.a.O., S.279

18) Vgl. Dahme, H.-J./Kühnlein, G./Wohlfahrt: Zwischen Subsidiarität und Modernisierung, Wohlfahrtsverbände unterwegs in die Sozialwirtschaft. Berlin 2005

19) Vgl. dazu Trube, A.: Vom Wohlfahrtsstaat zum Workfarestate – Sozialpolitik zwischen Neujustierung und Umstrukturierung. In: Dahme/Otto/Trube/Wohlfahrt 2003,, S.177 – 203, a.a.O.

20) Vgl. Beck, U.: Mehr Zivilcourage bitte. In: Die Zeit vom 25.5.2000

21) Vgl. Simmel, G.: Soziologie (Gesamtausgabe Bd. 11). Frankfurt/M. 1992, S.512-555.


Prof. Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Dahme ist Hochschullehrer für Verwaltungswissenschaft an der FH Magdeburg. Seine aktuellen Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Soziale Dienste, Sozialverwaltung, Jugendarbeitslosigkeit. – Prof. Dr.

Norbert Wohlfahrt arbeitet als Hochschullehrer für Sozialmanagement, Verwaltung und Organisation an der Ev. Fachhochschule RWL Bochum. Seine derzeitigen Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind Soziale Dienste; Entwicklung von non-profit-Organisationen; Kommunale Sozialpolitik und Sozialverwaltung.

Aus: Forum Wissenschaft 1/2008, 14-17
http://www.linksnet.de/artikel.php?id=3562
See also:
http://www.mbtranslations.com
http://www.goleft.tv
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.