In this book one of Europe's foremost sociologists offers a profound and accessible overview of the trajectory of European societies, East and West, since the end of World War II. Combining theoretical depth with factual analysis, Göran Therborn addresses the questions that underpin an understanding of the nature of European modernity, including: To what extent is the period 1945-2000 producing fundamental change and what are the areas of continuity? Have the societies of Europe become more similar to others on the globe or more distinctively European? What are the prospects of Europe after decades of postwar change and the end of the Cold War? Issues covered include the division of paid and unpaid labour,

Rights to Claim: Membership and Welfare

Rights to claim: Membership and welfare

Rights, and their obverse, obligations, differ from other resources, from means, by deriving directly from a recognition by others as belonging to the actor. Sets of rights and obligations make up social institutions, e.g. marriage, private property, social security. In the European, and European-settled, world, rights have long had a particular importance because of a unique differentiation of law, or the legal system, from religion, morality and power.1 Such a differentiation has implied a differentiation of (legal) rights, has implied their invokability, and their, at least in principle, enforceability, with the help of the legal sanctions system, against the powers that be, and even against conceptions of religion and morality. It is this legal ...

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