The essay starts from the thesis that the introduction of the subsidiarity principle in Italian Constitution took place in a form such that it can be interpreted on a theoretical level and implemented in practice in very different ways. Then shows how it prevailed in practice the outsourcing model and how this has created a number of problems which are causing negative reactions from relevant organizations of the same Third Sector. It proposes finally to experience a new kind of subsidiarity based on the principles of distinctiveness and appropriateness.
The paper analyses an apparent feature of the current Italian welfare system, that is, so to speak, the verbiage in the identification of remedies to and ‘ways out’ of its persisting crisis. Countless labels and bizarre phrasings offer just as many allegedly new approaches or models claiming to be able to magically overturn the feeling of frustration and stagnation that most of health and social organisations are experiencing in Italy and elsewhere. The Author emphasises how, even in scientific debate, the unwitting mix of incompatible paradigms magnifies the feeling of confusion that may become, for many aspects, tragicomic. The very terms and concepts emerging from really innovative epistemic studies (reciprocity, empowerment, care, subsidiarity etc.) are often inconsistently used within the framework of the old top down paradigm responsible for the current crisis. As many fundamental key words are losing meaning, policy makers and fieldworkes are losing clarity of thought and capability to impact rationally on the ongoing degenerative processes.
The welfare systems in the liberal-democratic countries are undergoing structural changes. Often their evolution also concerns paradigm shifts. In this essay we try to understand what and how the new challenges to citizenship (social) emerge, mainly in an economic, social, political and cultural context (mainly due to the globalization process) completely different from the past. This requires a review of the allocative and distributive means of scarce resources. At the same time, the intense debate among intellectuals, scholars, policy makers, social workers raises again the questionabout principles, values and policiesat the basis of the welfare state. After delineating the evolution of the welfare state from the origin to present through the shift from the basic needs to the citizenship rights, the paper – from the point of view of political and social theory – analyzes the crisis of the welfare and reform proposals in place: the focus is the concept of citizenship whose definition necessarily reflects the deep change of our western societies. Democratic institutions, from the supranational to the local level, are faced with a change in the ways in which we define social policies, because the satisfaction of various social rights requires a redefinition of citizenship in heterogeneous and selective sense; such requests from universal are becomingnow more detailed: the homogeneous and standardized responses give way to demands of differentiated, pluralistic and multicultural public goods.
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