The Grandeur and Misery of the Social State - Full text

Alain Supiot's Inaugural Lecture, delivered on Thursday 29 Novembre 2012, in electronic format. Free access.

The legal history of the construction of the welfare state gives an idea of its greatness. But this easy-going sovereign, tolerant to protest and accountable for its subjects' well-being, seems to be struck by misery today. Exposed to systemic financial risks due to the opening of its commercial borders, it is seeing its resources dwindling and its expenses increasing. Fearful doctors are rushing to its bedside. Some are prescribing one bleeding after another, while others are already drawing up its death certificate. What we need is not this lethal medicine, but a precise diagnosis of the welfare state.

Alain Supiot, The Grandeur and Misery of the Social State, Paris, Collège de France, October 2013. URL (full text) :