The social welfare literature has often assumed the existence of a unified, territorial nation-state. This would provide the basis for solidarity and social citizenship, while mobilizing the resources for redistribution. Spatial rescaling and boundary-opening have put the model in question as market-making, market regulation and market-correction have migrated to different levels. States have also widely decentralized. Some fear that this poses a threat to the welfare state by weakening social citizenship and provoking a race to the bottom. Yet solidarity might be re-forged at new levels. The empirical evidence gives little sustenance to the argument for a race to the bottom but rather suggests that social solidarity is being rebuilt at multiple levels.
- social welfare