The Lisbon Strategy and the alignment of economic and social concerns

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This paper examines the economic and social thought that has evolved around the Lisbon strategy, which aimed to turn the European Union into the world’s most competitive knowledge economy by 2010. It argues that a new regime of rationality has emerged in which economic and social objectives, which were previously thought to be at odds with one another, have become increasingly aligned. The supposed antinomy between economic efficiency and social security has been gradually replaced by a Rawlsian-inspired understanding of social justice in which the individual right to self-development and employment is seen to go hand-in-hand with economic innovation and competitiveness. This alignment, which is expressed through the worshipping of the Nordic welfare model in general and the notion of flexicurity in particular, seems to have a strong depoliticizing effect.

TidsskriftJournal of European Social Policy
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)197-209
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2011

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