27.05.2010, Wim Hafkamp, enviromental economist

'Welfare state won't solve climate change'

‘We expect too much from the government for solving the problems which are important for us. We achieved a lot by that, but more and more I come to the conclusion that the welfare state in itself is unsustainable. Our welfare state won't solve the climate change or take responsibility for sustainable food and agriculture. That, we have to do ourselves. Us people, consumers, travellers, researchers, employees, entrepreneurs and inhabitants.' 



John Grin
1 June 22:22
I guess Wim is making a crucial point. This is indeed where we should expect the dynamics from. Fortunately, many arrangements are emerging in between the market, civil society and knowledge infrastructure that may nurture such initiatives, such as partnerships for corporate social responsibility. More is mentioned in chapter 2 in my part of our recent book (elsewhere on this site). Where we may disagree is that government is, I think, still needed - albeit it primarily in a responsive, supportive role. To remove regulation that unintendedly stands in the way of sustainability. To make policies that help create a level playing field. To provide spaces where parties may 'bargain the shadow of hierarchy' (Fritz Scharpf). Etc.
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