The Distinctiveness of Nordic Welfare States in the Transformation to the Projective City and the New Spirits of Capitalism

Peer Hull Kristensen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    Boltanski and Chiapello identify a new mode of organizing capitalism which they identify in terms of project work and mobility. They argue that the problem for this mode of organizing is the inequalities which it sets up between those who are mobile and those who are immobile. The rewards in terms of autonomy and income that are achieved by the successful in this system are, they argue, dependent on the exploitation of those who cannot move around. This chapter shows that immobility is not a fixed characteristic but the outcome of political and social processes. Thus the Nordic countries seem to have found templates for the development of conditions under which large sections of the population can be mobile and the sphere of the immobile and exploited is reduced. They had begun from the 1990s to construct the projective city in ways which met the tests such a mode of organizing set for itself — in terms of providing opportunities for all groups to participate on a relatively equal basis and resisting the effort to exclude a substantial section of society and to exploit this group in order to maximize the gains of the mobile. Nordic countries in different and diverse ways had been able to increase the abilities of men and women, young and old, able-bodied and disabled — to participate in this new economy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNew Spirits of Capitalism : Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics
    EditorsPaul du Gay, Glenn Morgan
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Publication date2013
    ISBN (Print)9780199595341
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191750755
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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