Elena Granaglia

What idea of equality for the welfare state? In defense of the «old» idea of equality of conditions

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Although in different configurations, in the last few decades, a «new» concept of equality has taken root as a key-idea in the public discourse on welfare. It is equality of opportunity understood as the ex ante guarantee of the means necessary to make one’s self through one’s work. Education and family caregiver support are reckoned as the chief means. The thesis developed in the article is that, despite some undoubted merits, this idea has different limits. The «old» marshallian idea of equality of conditions retains, instead, its attractiveness, in particular, if it is declined as equality of capabilities.


  • Equality of opportunity
  • equality of conditions
  • equality of capabilities
  • welfare discourse


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